Countdown to Iran nuclear agreement's deadline
(cartoon by Keyvan Zargari, Shahrvand daily)
A Monday deadline to reach a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear program appears to be very unlikely.
The Iranian Students News Agency quotes an unidentified member of Iran's negotiating team Sunday in Vienna as saying a new pact will not be possible with the short time left until the deadline and the number of issues yet to be resolved.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday "serious gaps" remain in the negotiations.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the main question is if Iran is ready to end its research on acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Iranisn FM Javad Zarif with his deputy Abbas Araghchi in Vienna
(photo by Tasnim News Agency published on front page of Shargh daily)
Kerry has engaged in a series of meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to try to narrow differences in negotiations.
The top American diplomat recently said the United States and its P5 Plus 1 allies - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - are not considering an extension past Monday's target date.
Officials have been engaged in intense closed-door negotiations.
Russia's Tass news agency reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Vienna Sunday evening to take part in the talks.
A nuclear agreement would lift some sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran curbing its uranium enrichment program.
The United States has long accused Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon - a charge Iran denies. It insists its atomic program is for peaceful civilian purposes.
... Payvand News - 11/23/14 ... --