Rouhani: We'll Do Our Best to Secure a Nuclear Deal

"Iran is ready to sit at the negotiating table," says President Hassan Rouhani amid ongoing nuclear talks.

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Iranian president Hassan Rouhani
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday his country would "do its best" to secure a nuclear deal as crunch talks between Tehran and Washington on the long-running dispute dragged out, AFP reported.

Senior negotiators from both sides met behind closed doors for a second day of talks at Geneva's upscale Hotel President Wilson, which was sealed off to the media.

Iran's chief negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, was quoted by the ISNA news agency saying after Tuesday's session that the talks were "fruitful" but that "divergences remain and the consultations are going to continue."

He described the discussions as "intense and difficult, but they are taking place in a positive atmosphere," according to AFP.

The talks are part of a fresh diplomatic drive in the face of a looming July 20 deadline for a final deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers.

"Iran will do its best for a final deal with the P5+1," said Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator, speaking in Turkey, where he is currently on a visit to boost ties with Ankara.

"Iran is ready to sit at the negotiating table for a solution" to both the nuclear dispute and "unfair sanctions," he said, according to AFP.

On Wednesday, Iranian negotiators are set to meet in Geneva with their French counterparts, before heading to Rome for talks with Russian officials, then hold a session in Tehran with Germany on Sunday.

The ongoing talks seek to turn an interim deal reached in November into a permanent agreement. Under the interim deal, Iran committed to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent and is gradually winning access to $4.2 billion of its oil revenues frozen abroad and some other sanctions relief.

A fourth round of nuclear talks between the sides ended last month without progress and with both sides complaining that major gaps remained ahead of the deadline.