Obama gives ‘guidance’ to Kerry amid ongoing Iran nuclear talks

US President Barack Obama has discussed the ongoing negotiations on Iran’s controversial nuclear program with US Secretary of State John Kerry, advising him on how to continue efforts to reach a final deal with Tehran that would be in line with US “requirements.”

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The original deadline for a final agreement was June 30, but it was extended twice with the current deadline being Friday. Amid ongoing talks, Kerry has spent almost two weeks in Vienna.

“This afternoon, the President and his national security team held a secure video conference with Secretary Kerry, Secretary Moniz and the US negotiating team in Vienna. The President reviewed the progress of negotiations to date, and provided guidance related to our ongoing efforts to achieve a good deal between the P5+1 and Iran that meets our requirements,” the White House said in a Wednesday statement.

The P5+1 group of international negotiators, comprising the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and Germany have been working on a final agreement with Tehran since April, when a preliminary deal was reached in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

The Lausanne deal stipulates that Iran cut back on uranium enrichment, remove about two-thirds of its centrifuges and allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to monitor its nuclear activities in exchange for Western sanctions relief.

The West has imposed multiple restrictions on Iran accusing it of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program, claims repeatedly denied by Tehran.

Iran and the P5+1 are now trying to agree on the details of a final deal with Tehran bargaining for full sanctions relief that would go into effect as soon as possible. Meanwhile the United States and its allies want to ensure that Iran curbs its nuclear activities before the sanctions are lifted. The sides have also been discussing the particular rights of IAEA inspectors and their access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.