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Iran's top leader says he does not oppose an extension of nuclear talks with Western powers

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's top leader is saying he won't stand in the way of continued nuclear negotiations with world powers.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke Thursday on Iranian state television, saying "I am not opposed to the extension of the talks, for the same reason that I wasn't opposed to the talks per se."

Iran and the major powers agreed Monday to decide by March 1 about what steps must be taken and on what schedule. A final deal is meant to follow four months later.

Khamenei has final say on all state matters in Iran. The Western powers suspect that Iran's nuclear research has a military dimension, but Tehran continues to insist the program is peaceful, focusing on power generation and medical research.

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