Iran nuclear deal deadline to be extended again

Nuclear warhead-Image source vfpcorvallis

Nuclear warhead-Image source vfpcorvallis

TALKS between Iran and Western powers to find a nuclear deal will continue past Tuesday’s deadline for a “couple of days”, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has announced.

“We are continuing the talks for the next couple of days,” Mogherini told reporters during a break from the negotiations in Vienna.

Foreign ministers and officials from Iran and members of the P5+1 group – comprising Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. – are gathered in Vienna to try to strike a deal with Iran.

As the talks continued overnight, both Iranian and Western sides had said that more time might be needed than their self-imposed deadline of yesterday to reach an ambitious accord, aimed at ending a 13-year standoff.

An Iranian official previously told reporters that: “Even if we pass July 9, that will not be the end of the world, there will be another period for us to watch.”

A dispute over UN sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile programme, as well as a broader arms embargo, are said to be among the main issues holding up the agreement before this latest self-imposed deadline.

“The Iranians want the ballistic missile sanctions lifted. They say there is no reason to connect it with the nuclear issue, a view that is difficult to accept,” one Western official told the Reuters news agency on Monday. “There’s no appetite for that on our part.”

Separately, a senior Iranian official speaking on condition of anonymity told reporters in the Austrian capital that Tehran wanted a UN arms embargo terminated as well.

The Iranian official said his country had made “a number of concessions” but that a number of issues – few in number but “tough” – remained to be thrashed out at ministerial level.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Vienna, said while there has been much progress in the talks, “gaps” still remain, which need “political decisions” among the countries involved.

“We are told by all sides that there are only a few remaining sticking points on the table,” he said.

Having agreed to an interim deal in November 2013 following the election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran and the P5+1 missed a July 2014 deadline to get a lasting deal, and then again last November.

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1 Comment
  • Farzaneh Joshaghani

    ballistic missiles are conventional weapons and therefore legal. The us is upset that it cannot illegally invade iran like it did in iraq. Iran should request bush and cheney to be put on death row for their war crimes.