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Hollande, Obama say guarantees needed on Iran nuclear plans

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande during their meeting at the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, N
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande during their meeting at the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, N

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande and U.S. President Barack Obama are both determined to obtain guarantees from Iran that it will not seek to develop a nuclear weapon, Hollande's office said on Wednesday.

The United States, European Union and Iran worked for months on a proposal to end a 10-year stand-off over Tehran's nuclear program. Talks in Geneva last week between Iran and six world powers made notable progress towards a deal before snagging on some details, and will be resumed on November 20.

Iran and some diplomats from Western nations at first blamed France for the holdup and accused it of upstaging other powers. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later said that Western states had been united on the terms of a deal, but that Iran had not been able to accept it.

Iran denied this, as it does allegations that it is trying to develop the means to make nuclear bombs behind the facade of a declared civilian atomic energy program.

"The two heads of state expressed their common will to obtain from Iran guarantees that it is definitively abandoning its military nuclear program," Hollande's office said in a statement after the two spoke by telephone.

The White House issued its own statement after the call saying the United States and France were in "full agreement" on the terms of the deal which they proposed to Iran, as well as their approach to negotiations.

"They consider the (six powers') proposal to be a sound step toward assuring the international community that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful," the statement read.

(Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur in Paris and Jeff Mason in Washington D.C.; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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