Oct 13, 5:03 PM EDT

Iran's Rouhani: Nuke deal possible before deadline

World Video

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Iran's power structure
Iran's recent political history
Depth of Field: Covering the Iran elections
Protesters in Iran challenge police
Iran elections
Iran's protests: Then and now
Latest Iran News
Iran vows to aid Lebanese military

Iran bans human rights lawyer from practicing law

Iran says number of foreign tourists surges

Iran, Russia hold joint naval exercise

Iran tips hand about structure of secret services

AP Photo

Latest Iran Photos

Iran nuclear program
Nuclear plants that have leaked tritium
Not enough money to close old nuclear plants
How a nuclear power plant works
Latest News
Ukraine says Russia has agreed to supply gas

Soldiers' rights activist jailed in Russia

2 US journalists detained over Russia workshop

Russia's defense minister bristles at US comment

EU energy chief hopeful of Ukraine gas deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president said on Monday that Tehran and world powers may still be able to reach a final deal on the country's controversial nuclear program before the Nov. 24 deadline.

The remarks by moderate President Hassan Rouhani came as Iran and the six nation group - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - are to begin another round of talks in Vienna on Tuesday, in the countdown to the November deadline for a final, comprehensive deal.

The deal is supposed to put in place measures that would prevent Iran from making an atomic weapon in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Failure to conclude an agreement could mean that the whole negotiating process, years in the making, falls apart.

"We think a final settlement of the issues is possible within the remaining 40 days," Rouhani said.

Iran has the "political will" to reach a final deal, he added, though significant differences on details remain that require negotiations. His speech was broadcast live on Iranian state television late Monday.

Iran denies it wants nuclear weapons, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.

Rouhani's remarks on the eve of the Vienna talks were likely meant to inject fresh optimism into the negotiations but his assessment has not been substantiated with developments on the ground. The remarks also contrasted those of senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, who only on Friday predicted the talks could be extended.

The negotiations were already extended once earlier this year. The talks now reportedly remain stuck over the size and output of Iran's uranium enrichment program, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons.

Rouhani said there is no dispute that Iran should be allowed to maintain a uranium enrichment program or that all sanctions should be lifted under a final deal - but that discussions about modalities of all that still remain.

"Discussions are about how long and how," Rouhani said without elaborating.

Rouhani said major companies are waiting for a final nuclear accord that would lift sanctions and herald new business opportunities in the Mideast Shiite powerhouse nation, in order to "rush to Iran" with business deals.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.