Nuclear talks expected to be extended

Nuclear talks expected to be extended

Today’s deadline for a deal to lift international sanctions on Iran may be extended, given difficulties in negotiations encountered over the weekend.

Negotiations have been on-going for almost a year and it now appears Iran and six major powers may still fail to reach a deal on lifting international sanctions on Tehran, in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

EU representatives have predicted a very low chance of a deal by today, prompting considerations of an extension of the self-imposed deadline.

But British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said they would launch one more attempt to get a final agreement.

“At the moment we’re focused on the last push, a big push tomorrow (Monday) morning to try and get this across the line,” he told reporters. “Of course if we’re not able to do it, we’ll then look at where we go from there.”

Meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  have discussed a possible extension of the negotiations, a U.S. official said.

“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 (six powers),” a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity.

Iran continues to deny it seeks to make nuclear weapons and has refused to halt its uranium enrichment program, prompting sanctions by the US, EU and UN, which have caused Iranian oil revenues to fall and a rise in inflation and unemployment.

Negotiators say the key sticking points are the scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for lifting Western sanctions.

 

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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