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Nuclear deal with west gets closer

IRANEAN Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said he sees a good chance for a nuclear deal with the West because "most Iranians" are in favour of it.

Playing down resistance from Islamic hardliners, Mr Zarif said: "Some factions have no interest in reaching an agreement due to political reasons, but what counts at the end is the vote of the majority of Iranian people."

Speaking at a joint news conference in Tehran with visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, he was referring to the landslide victory in last July's presidential election of Hassan Rouhani, a Glasgow-educated relative moderate. He pledged to end sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and its Western allies in order to force Tehran to open its nuclear programme to outside scrutiny.

"Mr Rouhani is acting on a popular mandate and I am sure Iranians will accept any deal that would respect their rights and legitimate demands," Zarif said.

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