Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton said on Friday she hoped 18 months of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers would yield a deal in the next week.
The groundwork for the talks was laid when Clinton was US Secretary of State and she had not commented recently on the negotiations as she seeks the Democratic Party nomination to run in the November 2016 presidential election.
"I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran's nuclear weapons program," Clinton told a rally on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, New Hampshire. She said that even if a deal were reached, there would be more work to be done.
Iran is in talks with the United States and five other powers - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - on an agreement to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
A self-imposed June 30 deadline passed without a deal and negotiations continue in Vienna, with a new July 7 target date.
Republican presidential candidates and Republican lawmakers have been critical of the negotiations, saying the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has made too many concessions to Iran.
The administration has also come under pressure from Israel not to make a deal with Tehran. Israel's opposition could influence the way Jewish voters in the United States contribute to campaigns and also vote in the election.
The Republican-led US Congress will review any final deal, with congressionally mandated sanctions remaining in place if the House and Senate disapprove.
Clinton said in early April before announcing her candidacy that "getting the rest of the way to a final deal by June won't be easy, but it is absolutely crucial."
She has also said in the past that no deal would be better than a bad one.
A good deal would be one that "verifiably cuts off all of Iran's paths to a nuclear weapon" and "imposes an intrusive inspection program with no sites off limits," Clinton has said.
A major sticking point has been access to inspect Iranian sites for compliance. Western and Iranian negotiators said Friday there were signs a compromise is beginning to emerge on the issue.