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Iran nuclear deal finally within reach?

The temporary pause of Iran's nuclear program expires at midnight tonight, so the clock is ticking
Iran nuclear deal finally within reach? 02:05

VIENNA -- Monday was the 17th straight day of the Iran nuclear negotiations in Vienna, and diplomats were anxious to wrap them up with the latest deadline looming at midnight when a temporary pause in Iran's nuclear work was to expire.

CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reported a sense of heavy anticipation in the Austrian capital Monday as a deal with Iran finally seemed to be within reach.

Kerry optimistic as Iran nuke talks near likely end 01:33
Iran nuclear deal: Too big to fail? 04:40

All weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry shuttled back and forth between meetings with the Iranians and envoys from the other members of the so-called P5+1, which includes the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

Iranian-American analyst Reza Marashi told Brennan a deal was very close.

"I would put it at 99 percent. I always leave that one percent for the unforeseen complication, but I think if they're in the process of just drafting, and agreeing on words in two different languages, then this is essentially like the banks in 2008; it's too big to fail," said Marashi.

Iran's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, reviewed the 100-page draft agreement, which now awaits approval or rejection from leaders in seven world capitals, including Washington and Tehran.

In spite of the looming expiry of the temporary accord keeping Iran's nuclear program frozen to make way for the talks, Zarif said Monday that the negotiations could continue "as long as it is necessary." It wasn't clear if the Iranian diplomat was suggesting a possible extension to the temporary accord, as has already been done several times to accommodate the drawn-out, highly technical negotiations.

Abbas Aragchi, Zarif's deputy, said the talks were in their "final breathtaking moments (but) certain issues still remain."

The French leader, speaking in Brussels on the sidelines of an EU meeting over the Greek financial crisis, also spoke Monday of a "gap" remaining between the parties.

But other nations involved made it clear there was little interest in prolonging the discussion into Tuesday.

"The foreign ministers are gathered to bring negotiations to a conclusion," said China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi. "We believe there could not be further delay."

Iranian President Hassan Houhani said Sunday that his team had done everything possible to win relief from the sanctions that have been choking his country's economy.

John Boehner on Iran negotiations: “No deal is better than a bad deal” 01:03

But even if the diplomats are successful in reaching a deal, there are some in the U.S. Congress who want to block it.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas -- an ardent critic of the U.S. negotiations with Iran -- told "Face the Nation" on Sunday that signing onto the emerging deal would be a mistake.

"So I think whatever deal comes out of this weekend, it's going to be dangerous for the United States and dangerous for the world," said Cotton.

But as Brennan reports, the world is still waiting to see what that final deal looks like.

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