SHARE 83 42 COMMENTMORE

Geneva (AP) - President Barack Obama says a nuclear deal with Iran is an "important first step" toward addressing the world's concerns over the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear program.

Obama says the deal includes "substantial limitations" on Iran and cuts off the Islamic republic's most likely path to a bomb.

Obama spoke Saturday night shortly after the U.S. and five partners reached an interim nuclear deal with Iran. The agreement was finalized during talks in Geneva that stretched well past midnight.

After that marathon negotiating session, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that if Iran's nuclear program is truly just for peaceful purposes, then it simply needs to "prove it" to the world.

Kerry also insisted that the first-step deal will make Israel, a key U.S. ally and archenemy of Iran, safer.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has loudly criticized the deal, saying the international community is giving up too much to Iran.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.