Iran says nuclear talks to go beyond June 30 deadline
Officials said said that the deadline may be missed by a few days; Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returns to Tehran for consultation.
US officials including Secretary of State John Kerry meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a hotel in Vienna. -Reuters
Vienna- Talks between Iran and major powers on finalising a historic nuclear deal will go beyond the June 30 deadline, a spokesman for the Iranian delegation in talks in Vienna said on Sunday.
"Because there is still lots of work to do the delegations will remain beyond Tir 10 (July 1) to continue the negotiations and reach a good overall deal," the spokesman said.
"At the same time there is no desire or discussion yet on a long-term extension," he said.
Officials have said that the deadline may be missed by a few days but until now no officials have confirmed that it will.
Meanwhile Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will leave talks in Vienna and return to Tehran, state media reported, saying the trip was pre-planned.
"Iran and the US foreign ministers have given their teams necessary guidelines regarding how to proceed with the text and its details," reports said, quoting a media official from Iran's negotiating team.
Iran's IRNA and ISNA news agencies said that "after a one-day stay in Tehran," Zarif would return to Vienna but "in case more time is needed to work on the text of the agreement, negotiations can continue after the June 30 deadline".
The talks between Iran the P5+1 - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - are aimed at finalising a framework deal struck in April.
According to that agreement, Iran will sharply reduce its nuclear programme in scale and submit to tighter UN inspections in order to make any drive to make an atomic bomb virtually impossible.
In return Iran, which denies seeking the bomb, will see painful sanctions lifted. Tough remaining issues include the timing and pace of the sanctions relief and UN access to Iranian military bases.