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Zarif Reiterates Tehran's Position on Sanctions

FILE - Mohammad Javad Zarif, March 10, 2015.

Iran's foreign minister has reiterated Iran's position that sanctions against his country must be removed when a final deal is reached on its nuclear program.

Iran and six powers, including the United States, reached a framework agreement earlier this month to curb Tehran's nuclear activities.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said first post-framework meeting on the deal would be held Tuesday, when experts would meet "to look at the text and start drafting.'' He did not specify a venue. American and U.S. officials said Monday that a meeting was likely next week without naming a day or city.

Zarif sought to scotch concerns expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran still intends to develop a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu has harshly criticized the framework deal, saying it would give Iran relief from sanctions while leaving its nuclear program largely intact.

"If [Netanyahu] believes that our nuclear program is an existential threat then he should heave a sigh of relief that everyone is watching this program,'' Zarif said.