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Iran Warns Against Pressure On Nuclear Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States and other world powers should not "pressure" Iran to reach an agreement restricting its nuclear program.

Zarif said in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 20 ahead of talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that it was time for the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia to choose between "pressure or agreement."

Zarif said the Iranian people have chosen to "engage with dignity," a response to a Persian New Year's video message sent by U.S. President Barack Obama to Iran in which he said Iranians face a choice of continued isolation or a "brighter economic future."

The six powers want Tehran to accept a deal that would limit its nuclear program, easing fears that it could developing atomic weapons, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Iran says its nuclear program is purely peaceful.

The sides are seeking a framework agreement by March 31 and a full deal by June 30.

In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the nuclear talks.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP