UK
09/11/2013 14:53 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

William Hague Admits Uncertainty Over Iran's Nuclear Programme Talks

World leaders may have hit a stumbling block in Geneva, after talks on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme appear to have reached an impasse, despite earlier reports of progress.

No deals have been made yet again with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, with "important gaps" still to be closed at the tense negotiations in Geneva.

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague during the third day of closed-door nuclear talks with Iran

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Western diplomats have warned that a deal looks increasingly unlikely in nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers, Sky News reported.

"Clearly, efforts are still going on," said one diplomat.

"There was a possibility, and perhaps it still exists, that if there are good intentions we can reach an agreed-upon text," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Geneva.

Foreign Secretary William Hague hailed "good progress" in Geneva but said there was uncertainty about whether a deal could be reached.

Earlier, he tweeted from the Swiss city:

And he shared a picture of the historic meeting, with Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Baroness Ashton, EU foreign policy chief. US Secretary of State John Kerry was nowhere in sight.

Hague decided to attend in the hope the presence of the E3+3 negotiating group - the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the US - might help the process move towards a successful conclusion.

Mr Hague said that the time had come to "seize the moment" to reach a deal.

But he admitted that it was too early to say whether the talks would reach a successful conclusion, the BBC reported.

"There is now a real concentration on these negotiations so we have to do everything we can to seize the moment and seize the opportunity to reach a deal that has eluded the world," he said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also said there was "no certainty" of a deal as there were "some points with which we are not satisfied".

The talks on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme are expected to continue in a week to 10 days.

Under a possible deal, Iran could freeze expansion of nuclear activity for limited sanctions relief.