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Iran nuclear talks extended to November 24

July 19, 2014 7:04 P.M. (Updated: July 19, 2014 7:04 P.M.)
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- World powers and Iran agreed to extend their talks on Tehran's nuclear program until November 24, officials said Friday, as Washington said it would unblock some $2.8 billion in frozen Iranian funds.

In a deal reached late Friday in Vienna, the United States would release the funds in return for Iran agreeing to convert some of its 20 percent enriched uranium stocks into fuel, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

The top US diplomat stressed that since an interim six-month accord struck last November Iran had stuck by its side of the deal "to neutralize its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium; cap its stockpile of 5 percent enriched uranium" and not to install advanced centrifuges.

"It is clear to me that we have made tangible progress in our comprehensive negotiations, but there are very real gaps in some areas," Kerry said.

"Today, we have a draft text that covers the main issues, but there are still a number of brackets and blank spaces in that text."

Efforts have been made to close off a path to a plutonium bomb through Iran's reactor at Arak, and ensure a facility at Fordow could also not be used to build an atomic bomb. The United States has also sought to guarantee inspections and ensure that Iran's stockpile of low enriched uranium cannot be converted into bomb-grade material.
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