Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif says an agreement with six world powers to resolve a decade-long standoff over Tehran's nuclear program is 'possible' by the end of talks Friday.
U.S. officials said late Thursday that Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to Geneva Friday to participate in the nuclear negotiations -- a last-minute decision that suggests a deal could be imminent.
Zarif told CNN he believes "it is possible to reach an understanding or an agreement before we close these negotiations tomorrow evening," adding that Tehran was not willing to suspend uranium enrichment " in its entirety."
The Iranian official expressed similar optimism in an interview two days earlier with a French television network.
Zarif met with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, in Geneva Thursday to discuss arrangements for the first day of talks.
In Washington, the White House signaled the United States is prepared to offer Iran limited relief from economic sanctions if it agrees to halt its nuclear development program and reverse part of it.
But the U.S. Congress tends to take a harder line on Iran than the Obama administration, and the chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee said he will move ahead with a package of tough new sanctions on Iran after the negotiating session on its nuclear program ends in Geneva Friday.
After just one round of formal talks and one experts meeting since the new Iranian government took power in July, a senior U.S. official said the two sides are coming to understand what a "first step" would look like.
Iran is seeking relief from international sanctions, while the six nations want assurances that Tehran is not trying to build nuclear weapons.