Officials from Iran and the United States on Monday said that the talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program in Geneva have progressed, but that there was still "a long way to go" before a resolution can be reached.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, meanwhile, released an official statement following conclusion of the day's talks, reiterating Israel's stance that the talks would endanger the security of Israel and peace in the Western world.
A senior U.S. administration official said that "some progress" had been made in the talks, adding that two sides managed to "sharpen up some of the tough issues" that need resolving.
Political directors from Iran and the six major powers have agreed to resume talks next week at a venue to be decided, the official said, speaking after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held two-day talks in Geneva.
"These were very serious, useful and constructive discussions. We have made some progress but we still have a long way to go. We did very much sharpen up some of the tough issues so we can work to resolution," a senior U.S. administration official told reporters following intense talks.
Zarif echoed the U.S. official's remarks. "We had serious talks with the P5+1 representatives and especially with the Americans in the past three days ... But still there is a long way to reach a final agreement," he said.
In his statement following the talks, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said:"The deal with Iran, as it is now being consolidated, is a danger to peace in the Western world and threatens the security of the State of Israel.
Iran is spreading terror across the world to harm Israeli and Western interests, "and every deal that will be signed between the West and this messianic and apocalyptic regime will strike a severe blow to Western and Israeli interests and will allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state and continue its terror activities," Ya'alon said in the statement.
"Iran came into these negotiations from a point of weakness and great fear of economic collapse as a result of the sanctions," Ya'alon added. "The deal now being consolidated will allow it to free itself from the economic siege and continue to enrich uranium as well.
Ya'alon also mentioned in his statement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming address on the issue at Congress, saying: "We will not compromise the security of Israel's citizens. We will do everything we can and voice on every stage what the dangers that are expected."
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