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Iran nuclear trilateral meeting wraps up as Nov. 24 deadline looms

It is unclear what, if any, progress came from the 10 hours of discussion on Sunday and Monday.

By JC Finley
Iran nuclear trilateral meeting wraps up as Nov. 24 deadline looms
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Muscat, Oman, on Nov. 10, 2014 for tri-lateral Iranian nuclear talks. UPI/Twitter/Marie Harf

MUSCAT, Oman, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. and European Union concluded a two-day meeting with Iran on Monday as the Nov. 24 deadline to reach a nuclear agreement looms.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Oman for trilateral talks.

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"A unified P5+1 has put on the table creative ideas to be able to achieve our objective, and now we will see if Iran is able to match the public words that they are prepared to prove to the world that they have a peaceful program, to match those words with the tough and the courageous decisions that need to be made by all of us," Kerry said ahead of the meeting.

One State Department official described the trilateral talks as "tough, direct and serious."

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It is unclear what, if any, progress came from the 10 hours of discussion on Sunday and Monday.

The P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany -- have sought concrete assurances from Iran that its nuclear program will remain peaceful and not be used as a weapon.

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Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei laid out what he views as Iran's red lines with regard to nuclear negotiation in an infographic tweeted on the first day of the trilateral gathering, with one asserting "Our delegation should not accept any impositions from the other side."

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On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that if an agreement isn't reached by the Nov. 24 deadline, nuclear talks with Iran "will be set back another two years."

Political directors from the P5+1 countries and Iran convened a meeting Tuesday with a final found of negotiations at the foreign minister level scheduled for Nov. 18 in Vienna.

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