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Jean-christophe Bott, Associated Press
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, on his way to a meeting, during the third day of closed-door nuclear talks in Geneva Switzerland, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's foreign minister has criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for saying Tehran had backed away from a wider deal seeking to ease Western concerns about its nuclear program.

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Kerry said Monday that the major powers, including France, were unified on an Iran nuclear deal during weekend talks in Geneva but the Iranians were unable to accept it.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said later Monday that Kerry's "conflicting statements" damaged confidence in the process and says "considerable progress was made" during the talks in Geneva.

Zarif said in remarks on an Iranian TV talk show that he's still hopeful a deal will be reached but insists any agreement must include the lifting of all Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic.