Iran and six world powers are not likely to reach an agreement in Vienna on Tehran’s nuclear program, various sources claim, adding that the talks will be extended ahead on Monday’s deadline, less than 24 hours away.
Almost all the foreign ministers of member-countries of Iran’s talks have arrived for the final round of negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Their presence may give new impetus to the talks, which still fail to bear fruit so far.
The negotiations, which have lasted for more than a year, focus on Iran’s nuclear ambitions – the uranium enrichment capacity and the lifting of the sanctions leveled against Tehran over its nuclear program. The sides were due to come to an agreement November 24.
However, since Sunday various sources have been claiming that the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program might be extended ahead of Monday’s deadline, as it became apparent that the sides wouldn’t be able to strike a deal to break the deadlock.
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On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed the possibility of extending negotiations, according to a US official,
“Our focus remains on taking steps forward toward an agreement, but it is only natural that just over 24 hours from the deadline, we are discussing a range of options both internally and with our P5+1 partners,” a senior US State Department official said on condition of anonymity.
The source added that “an extension [of the negotiations] is one of those options.”
On Sunday the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) cited an unnamed member of Iran’s negotiating team in Vienna that the deal on Tehran’s nuclear program with six world powers “will be impossible” to reach.
“The issue of extension of the talks is an option on the table and we will start discussing it if no deal is reached by Sunday night,” the source added.
In the meantime, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the powers will try one more attempt to reach the agreement.
“At the moment we’re focused on the last push, a big push [on Monday] morning to try and get this across the line,” said. “Of course if we’re not able to do it, we’ll then look at where we go from there.”
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Iran and the six world powers were “still far apart on many issues” concerning negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program.
“We are negotiating here with the ambition to reach an agreement,” he said. “If this task should not be completed, one definitely would need to look at opportunities so that the road does not end here, but that the negotiating process can be continued.”
His thoughts were echoed by his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius.
“We have a final deadline of tomorrow night to find an agreement, but it has to be positive and enables us to work for peace. There are still differences to resolve.”
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