Secretary of State John Kerry says his Iranian counterpart has approached negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program "in good faith" and the talks have made "substantial progress."
Negotiators today gave up on last-minute efforts to reach a final deal that would limit the program in exchange for an easing of international sanctions. But they agreed to extend the talks for another seven months.
Kerry says "new ideas" have surfaced in the latest round of talks, and the sides are closer to a deal that would make the world safer.
The move gives both sides breathing space to work out an agreement. But it may be badly received by skeptics in the United States, since it extends more than a decade of diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear abilities.
Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani (hah-SAHN' roh-HAH'-nee), says that "many gaps have been eliminated." But he added that the sides were "still some distance" from sealing a deal.