The West first demanded that Iran cease its nuclear activity more than a decade ago

Washington (CNN)Days before the deadline for a nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif delivered a hopeful yet circumspect message in an English-language video message posted online.

“At this 11th hour, despite some differences that remain, we have never been closer to a lasting outcome,” he said Friday. “But there is no guarantee.”

Officials on both sides of the negotiating table have said they are hopeful they will be able to broker a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program but have emphasized in recent days that gaps remain over items that could make or break the deal.

Zarif indicated in the YouTube video that a deal could be in sight, but only if both sides are willing to strive for a “balanced deal.”

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