Rowhani: nuclear deal ‘very likely’ by July

The Iranian president made the remarks during his visit to Shanghai

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Talks between Tehran and six world powers on a comprehensive deal over its nuclear program are “very likely” to reach a successful conclusion by a July 20 deadline, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said Thursday.

“We are very likely to come to an agreement by the end of July,” Rowhani told reporters in Shanghai, speaking in Farsi through a translator. “We can achieve this.”

His comments came after an apparently largely fruitless fourth round of negotiations in Vienna last week.

But the U.N. atomic watchdog said Wednesday that Iran has agreed to address some of the many long-held allegations that it conducted research into making nuclear weapons before 2003 and possibly since.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran, which denies ever having sought nuclear weapons, has undertaken to implement “practical measures” by August 25.

“It takes time” to resolve outstanding issues, Rowhani said after he attended a regional security forum in China earlier this week.

“We cannot expect it to be resolved in a few meetings.”

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