Zarif travels to Iran after nuclear talks with Kerry

Vienna — There were conflicting signals as Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returned to Tehran late on June 28, after just over a day of talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry and European foreign ministers, saying he would return to Vienna June 30, as Western and Iranian diplomats acknowledged reaching a final nuclear deal would take a few more days.

Iranian officials said June 28 that Zarif had planned in advance to return to Iran for a day or two once it became apparent it would take longer than the self-imposed June 30 deadline to reach a final Iran nuclear deal with six world powers. But a senior State Department official, speaking not for attribution June 28, said Zarif informed Kerry June 27 that he planned to travel to Iran the next day. Sources who met with Zarif late June 27 said he had given little indication that he had firm plans to return to Iran the next day,.

US officials suggested they thought Zarif was returning to Iran to get further guidance or instructions from his bosses.

Read more here

This article was written by Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on June 28, 2015. Laura Rozen reports on foreign policy from Washington, DC, for Al-Monitor’s Back Channel.