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Iran President Speaks With French, British, Russian Leaders

Iranian President Hassan Rohani

Iranian President Hassan Rohani spoke by telephone March 26 with the leaders of France, Britain, and Russia in an attempt to break an impasse that has held up a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

With a self-imposed deadline to come to a framework agreement on Iran's nuclear development program looming at the end of this month, French President Francois Hollande's office said he called for a "lasting, robust, and verifiable" nuclear accord with Iran.

The French president's office said Hollande conceded the "legitimate rights of Iran to civilian nuclear power" but insisted there must be "guarantees Iran will not get an atomic weapon."

Rohani's office said in his conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron the Iranian president called for all the sanctions on his country to be lifted in exchange for Iranian cooperation and transparency on its nuclear program.

According to the statement from the Iranian president's office, Rohani told Cameron, "The peaceful character of [Iran's] nuclear activities and the necessity to annul all the unjust sanctions can lead us to a final deal."

Rohani reportedly said, "We are acting in the national and international interest and we should not lose this exceptional opportunity."

A statement from the Kremlin said Rohani and Russian President Vladimir stressed the "progress" that had been made during the many months of talks.

The two leaders expressed the latest round of talks that started March 26 in Lausanne, Switzerland would be successful.

In Lausanne, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz met their Iranian counterparts, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi.

Six world powers and Iran are facing a self-imposed March 31 deadline to reach a framework deal to limit Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions, with a full deal to follow by June 30.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and TASS
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