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Policy: National Security

Envoys: Some progress at Iran-6-power nuke talks

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Photo - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives for the start of closed-door nuclear talks with European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives for the start of closed-door nuclear talks with European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
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VIENNA (AP) — Iran and six powers made some progress on drafting the wording of a nuclear deal Friday, but key sections of the document were left blank, reflecting significant differences on how much Iran needs to limit its nuclear program in exchange for full relief from sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said full agreement was possible at the next round, in Vienna on July 2. At the same time he said there was no common text. Pressed for details after the meeting he said the two sides "agreed about the title" and about the "general framework" of what a final deal would look like.

"This text has more parentheses compared to the number of words," he said, referring to the blank sections in the draft.

The office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton — who is coordinating the talks — said that drafting of a deal had begun but gave no details.

Two Western diplomats familiar with the talks' progress earlier in the day reported little movement on the main dispute, with Iran resisting U.S.-led attempts to place strict constraints on uranium enrichment — which can produce both reactor fuel and the fissile core of nuclear arms.

Iran says it does not want nuclear arms and is pushing to keep its present enrichment capacity, while Washington and its allies seek deep cuts in the nearly 20,000 centrifuges Iran has operating or on standby, along with other restrictions on that program and other atomic activities. The apparent lack of progress over six rounds has clouded chances of meeting a July 20 target date for a deal.

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Margaret Childs contributed from Vienna

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