Saturday, June 27, 2015

Iran Negotiators Willing to Breach Deadline on Nuclear Talks

Iranian and Western officials for the first time publicly said they were willing to go past a June 30 deadline for sealing a final nuclear deal, insisting they could still unblock remaining obstacles in coming days.
The comments, made after talks between Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his counterparts from the U.K., France and Germany on the sidelines of a European Union meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, underscore recent warnings that the nuclear talks have stalled as the deadline approaches.
“We discussed how we can expedite the discussions in Vienna for the next few difficult days,” Mr. Zarif told reporters on Monday evening after meeting the European foreign ministers.
“There is a political commitment on the part of everybody to move forward,” he said. “And I believe that…if there is political will to accept the realities and move forward based on what we agreed in Lausanne, then there is a good possibility that we can finish this by the deadline or a few days after the deadline.”
Senior Iranian and Western officials have clashed publicly over key details of a final deal in recent days and real differences have emerged in the negotiating room, people involved in the discussions said. However, few said they believe negotiations are on the brink of collapse, and a deal remains likely over the next couple of weeks, these people said.
Iran and its negotiating partners—the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China—are aiming at a final accord that would see tight international sanctions on Tehran lifted over time in exchange for Iranian steps to block its path to nuclear weapons.
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