Iran Talks Miss Deadline, With Repercussions

Iranian foreign minister claims US has shifted its demands
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2015 7:05 AM CDT
US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, center, meet with foreign ministers and country reps during nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna today.   (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP)

(Newser) – After blowing past two extensions, both sides in the Iran nuclear talks had hoped to seal a deal before the end of yesterday in Vienna. But that didn't happen, and comments from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cast doubts that agreement is near as the current round of talks enter their 14th day. By missing yesterday's target date, Congress will now have 60 days, not 30, to decide whether it will OK any deal. Said deal would offer Iran sanctions relief in exchange for long-term and verifiable curbs on nuclear programs, but President Obama can't waive sanctions during that now 60-day period. Iran is unlikely to begin a substantial rollback of its nuclear program until it gets sanctions relief in return. How much more time is needed is still unclear, but an Iranian official tells the BBC this isn't "the 11th hour, but [the] 13th or 14th."

US Secretary of State John Kerry had warned yesterday that the Americans were ready to leave, declaring "we can't wait forever for a decision to be made," though, per the BBC, he also noted that "the work here is incredibly technical and ... the stakes are very, very high, [so] we will not rush and we will not be rushed." Zarif dismissed that warning as counterproductive and noted a "different stand" on some issues among the six world powers involved in the talks, saying "this situation has made the work difficult." Hours after those comments, Zarif met again with Kerry for another try at resolving differences. The BBC reports both sides are expected to meet throughout the weekend.

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