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Iran Nuclear Deal: As deadline looms, Kerry says U.S. in no rush to get Iran deal - by Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi

The United States and other major powers are not in a rush to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday, suggesting an accord was unlikely hours ahead of a deadline set by the U.S. Congress for a quick review.

"We're here because we believe we are making real progress," Kerry told reporters in the Austrian capital. "We will not rush and we will not be rushed."

However, Kerry said Washington's patience was not unlimited. "We can’t wait forever," he said. "If the tough decisions don’t get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this."

He did not say how much longer the talks could continue. Shortly after Kerry spoke, the White House said the talks would not likely drag on for "many more weeks."

Over the past two weeks, Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have twice extended deadlines for completing a long-term deal under which Tehran would curb nuclear activities for more than a decade in exchange for sanctions relief.

Kerry's announcement echoed earlier remarks by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said Iran and major powers would not be hurried.

"We're working hard, but not rushed to get the job done," he said on his Twitter account. Speaking later, Zarif said "We will stay here as long as it is necessary."

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the parties would continue negotiating overnight to try to resolve the "difficult issues" that remained in nuclear talks. He added that "things are ... going in the right direction."

Read more: As deadline looms, Kerry says U.S. in no rush to get Iran deal | Reuters

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