Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran and the U.S.-led Western delegation have never been closer to reaching a deal on Tehran's nuclear program on Friday, four days ahead of the deadline for reaching a final deal.
In a video posted on YouTube, Zarif said he sees a "long overdue end to an unnecessary crisis" ahead. "At this 11th hour, despite some differences that remain, we have never been closer to a lasting outcome," he said. But he warned there "is no guarantee.
"Getting to yes requires the courage to compromise, the self-confidence to be flexible, the maturity to be reasonable, the wisdom to set aside illusions and the audacity to break old habits," Zarif continued. "Some stubbornly believe that military and economic coercion can ensure submission; they still insist on spending other peoples' money or sacrificing other peoples' children for their own delusional designs.
"I see hope, because I see the emergence of reason over illusion," he added. "I sense that my negotiating partners have realized that coercion and pressure never lead to lasting solutions, but to more conflict and further hostility."
Talks in Vienna were extended a week as negotiators are at loggerheads on several issues, mainly on whether international inspectors will be able to assess whether Iran's nuclear program is being used for only peaceful purposes.
Zarif added that if the U.S., Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia can sign off on a deal with Iran, everyone could turn its focus to fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
"Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism," he said.
"The menace we're facing — and I say we, as no one is spared — is embodied by the hooded men who are ravaging the cradle of civilization. Iran has long been at the forefront in the fight against extremism," he said, adding that he hopes his counterparts at the negotiating table will also focus on fighting the Islamic State.