Clinton Hopes Iran Talks Yield Agreement

Clinton Hopes Iran Talks Yield Agreement  Clinton Hopes Iran Talks Yield Agreement

US Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton said on Friday she hoped 18 months of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers would yield a deal in coming days.

The groundwork for the talks was laid when Clinton was US secretary of state and she had not commented recently on the negotiations as she seeks the Democratic Party nomination to run in the November 2016 presidential election.

"I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran's nuclear weapons program," Clinton told a rally on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Iran denies the allegation that it may have been seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian program, saying the work is meant only for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity and medical research.

She said even if a deal were reached, there would be more work to be done, Reuters reported.

Iran is in talks with the United States and five other powers - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - on an agreement which would limit its nuclear program for a specified period of time in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

A self-imposed June 30 deadline passed without a deal and negotiations continue in Vienna, with a new July 7 target date.

Republican presidential candidates and Republican lawmakers have been critical of the negotiations, saying the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has made too many concessions to Iran. The administration has also come under pressure from Israel not to make a deal with Tehran.

The Republican-led US Congress will review any final deal, with congressionally mandated sanctions remaining in place if the House and Senate disapprove. Clinton said in early April before announcing her candidacy that "getting the rest of the way to a final deal by June won't be easy, but it is absolutely crucial."

She has also said in the past that no deal would be better than a bad one.

A good deal would be one that "imposes an intrusive inspection program with no sites off limits," Clinton has said. A major sticking point has been access to inspect Iranian sites for compliance. Some negotiators said on Friday there were signs a compromise is beginning to emerge on the issue.

Iran has ruled out any inspection of its military facilities under the prospective deal.