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U.S. says held ‘substantive talks’ with Iran

Kerry and Zarif helds 'substantive meetings' for about five hours and discussed a broad range of issues

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The United States and Iran held “substantive” talks in Geneva as they seek to step up the pace of negotiations for a nuclear deal, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had “substantive meetings for approximately five hours today and they discussed a broad range of issues with a small group of staff from each side,” a senior State Department official said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Paris on Friday, a diplomatic source told Agence Presse,, as world powers seek to speed up negotiations for a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The meeting will take place on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in the French capital for talks with President Francois Hollande and Fabius, though there was no confirmation the U.S. top diplomat would join the French-Iranian meeting.