Iran, world powers fail to seal nuke deal, talks extended to July 1
Iran, the United States and other world powers are discussing an extension to Monday`s deadline for a deal to resolve a 12-year stand-off over Tehran`s atomic ambitions, Western and Iranian officials said.
Vienna: As was being presumed, Iran and the six world powers failed to reach a deal regarding Tehran's controversial nuke programme within the stipulated deadline - that ends today, and hence the talks have been extended by seven months, a Western diplomat said reportedly.
According to the BBC, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that even though progress had been made, it was not possible to get an agreement by the deadline.
He added that the the talks would resume in December and be extended to June 30 next year. Till then, Iran would continue availing $700m per month in frozen assets.
"There will be further meetings in December. Our target is to reach a headline agreement, an agreement on the substance, within the next three months or so" and all technical aspects by July 1, he told reporters.
Iran along with six world powers (P5+1) - Russia, China, the United States, France, Britain and Germany -were negotiating in Vienna, Austria to break the deadlock over reaching a nuclear deal by today which was the deadline fixed in July this year.
However given the differences between the two sides regarding the rate at which the sanctions would be lifted off Iran, obstacles loomed large and the possibility of negotiations being extended was more likely.
The complexities involved in cracking a deal were highlighted when US President Barack Obama talked about “serious gaps” between the two sides over the details of the deal. Obama also hinted how Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had to "deal with politics at home" as the main power rested with Ayatollah Khameini.
Rouhani, on the other hand, was few days back quoted as saying that the nuke deal was within reach if the West stopped making "excessive demands".
Rouhani was referring to the Western insistence that Iran must significant reduce the amount of Uranium enrichment, that increases the possibility of it gaining nuclear weapons. Iran on the other hand wants the West to immediately lift off all the sanctions.
Iran's nuclear programme has been the object of suspicion for long as the West thinks it's Uranium enrichment is being carried out for nuke weapons, however Tehran maintains that it is being done only for civilian purposes and atomic energy needs.
The first major breakthrough regarding Iran's nuke deal was made in Geneva last year in November when the two sides had agreed on a deal that would ensure removal of sanctions by the West in exchange of Iran curbing its Uranium enrichment. The deal also sought a permanent deal to be sealed by July this year, however it failed and the next deadline was set for November 24, that is today.
But as was expected, the differences between the two sides were mightier than the political will to reach a deal and hence the deadline has been extended till July 1.