WASHINGTON, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States said on Friday that there is a "credible prospect" for world powers and Iran to reach a comprehensive deal on Tehran's nuclear programs.
The White House made the remarks in a statement issued after world powers and Iran agreed to extend the talks on Iran's nuclear program to November.
Iranian nuclear talks will be extended for another four months till Nov. 24 as the stakeholders still have "significant gaps on core issues," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in Vienna on Saturday local time after 16-day lengthy negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.
"This extension will allow us to continue the negotiations while ensuring that the progress of Iran's nuclear program remains halted during the negotiations," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in the statement.
"Our negotiators have made progress in some areas and, while real gaps remain, there is a credible prospect for a comprehensive deal," Earnest said.
The six-month interim deal, which took effect on Jan. 20 and would expire on Sunday, was designed to buy time for diplomatic negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
"Going forward, we have an opportunity to achieve a lasting, diplomatic solution that will resolve one of the most pressing national security issues of our time," Earnest said.
Iran will be allowed to access an additional 2.8 billion U.S. dollars of its frozen assets during the four-month period of extended talks, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry said on Friday.
"Let me be clear: Iran will not get any more money during these four months than it did during the last six months, and the vast majority of its frozen oil revenues will remain inaccessible," Kerry said in a statement.
On Friday, Earnest reiterated the U.S. commitment to reaching a comprehensive resolution to Iran's nuclear issue.
"Our goal is clear -- to reach a comprehensive deal that addresses the various pathways Iran could take to obtain a nuclear weapon," he said.
The United States will not accept "anything less than a comprehensive resolution that meets our objectives," which is why it is necessary for negotiations to continue, he added.