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Iran Says 'Good Steps, Good Atmosphere' At Nuclear Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says talks with six world powers on Tehran's nuclear program are being conducted "in a good atmosphere."

Speaking in Tehran on December 17, as negotiators from Iran and the "P5 +1" nations met in Geneva for a day of talks, Zarif said that "good steps have been taken" and more would follow.

After failing to reach a deal by a self-imposed November 24 deadline, the six powers and Iran gave themselves until July 1 to seal an agreement that would ensure Tehran is not building nuclear weapons in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions that have hurt its economy.

"The world needs this settlement, in light of challenges facing us, like the threat of terrorism. It is in everyone's interest" Zarif said at a press conference with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Iran says its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes.

U.S. and Iranian diplomats met in Geneva on December 15-16 to pave the way for the broader negotiations between Iran and the "P5 +1" nations -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and IRIB