Iran president urges world to 'seize opportunity' of nuclear deal
TEHRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that world powers must "seize the opportunity" of a landmark nuclear deal, saying Tehran had taken the "necessary steps" for an accord.
Rouhani's remarks appeared to be a response to US President Barack Obama, who on Monday said: "The issues now are -- does Iran have the political will and the desire to get a deal done?"
"Right now good progress has been made although we are some distance away from the final agreement," the Iranian president said, during a meeting in Tehran with India's national security adviser Ajit Doval.
"Iran has taken necessary steps and now it's the other side's turn to seize the opportunity."
Two deadlines for a permanent agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear programme have already been missed, requiring the talks to be extended.
Negotiators are now working toward the political outline of a deal by March 31, with the cut-off point for the technical details of a comprehensive accord by June 30.
Rouhani said that although gaps remain between Iran and the P5+1 powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany -- it was up to them to close a deal.
Disagreements centre on the extent of nuclear activities Iran will be allowed to continue and the timetable for the lifting of sanctions.