Jan 14, 6:06 AM EST

Iranian official hopeful on nuclear talks with US

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GENEVA (AP) -- Iran's foreign minister says he hopes a discussion with U.S. secretary of State John Kerry will accelerate nuclear talks and allow negotiators to meet a March target for a framework accord.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said the meeting was important because he believed it would show the parties' readiness "to move forward and speed up the process." Zarif made the comment to reporters in Geneva before seeing Kerry.

The U.S. and its partners are hoping to clinch a deal with Iran that would set long-term limits on Iran's enrichment of uranium and other activity that could produce material for use in nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is solely for energy production and medical research purposes. It has agreed to some restrictions in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from U.S. economic sanctions.

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