Iran not yet agreed to nuclear talks extension: Zarif
Iran’s foreign minister says the Islamic Republic has not yet agreed to the extension of the ongoing nuclear talks with the Sextet of world powers beyond the July 20 deadline.
“We have not yet agreed to the extension of talks,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif following a closed-door meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Vienna on Wednesday.
Zarif was reacting to media speculations about an extension of Sunday’s deadline for a nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.
The Iranian minister, however, said Iran’s talks with the six powers will continue seriously up to July 20.
Meanwhile, IRNA quoted an unnamed Iranian diplomat as saying that the nuclear talks are unlikely to be over by Sunday because the negotiators have to return to their capitals for consultation.
Gaps still remain in nuclear talks between Iran and the Sextet of world powers – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – despite progress made in the latest round of negotiations.
Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry have held three meetings in Vienna to help narrow the differences between Iran and the six countries and reach a final deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the Sextet kicked off their sixth round of talks this year in Vienna on July 3.
The two sides sealed an interim deal in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 23, 2013. The deal came into force in January and expires on July 20, but can be extended depending on the agreement of all parties involved.