International

Big hurdles still remain in Iran n-talks

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (second from right) in Vienna on Sunday.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (second from right) in Vienna on Sunday.  

The six world powers seeking to negotiate an historic agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear programme plan to carry on negotiating beyond the June 30 deadline, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was to leave Vienna and return to Tehran for consultations with the country’s leadership on the state of negotiations, Iran said. Officials from both sides said big differences still remained. European Union foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini said earlier on Sunday it was not impossible to get an accord by the self-imposed deadline but that a few extra days may be needed.

Foreign Ministers from the negotiating countries were gathering in Vienna on Sunday to assess where the talks stood. They expected them to spill over into July. “Zarif will return to Tehran tonight and will come back to Vienna tomorrow,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency said, citing an unnamed Iranian official.

An Iranian official told Reuters that Mr. Zarif would “consult with the leadership” over the talks in Vienna.

The U.S. official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said Washington was not troubled by Mr. Zarif’s decision to return to Tehran overnight, saying it was always expected that Ministers would come and go from Vienna as the talks heated up.

The negotiations aim to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of U.S., European Union and United Nations sanctions on Tehran.

The main differences are on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for Iran and on the nature of monitoring mechanisms to ensure Tehran does not cheat on any agreement. U.S. and European negotiators also want to ensure there is a mechanism for restoring sanctions if Tehran fails to meet its commitments under any future accord. In November, the seven nations involved in the talks set a late March deadline for a framework agreement, which they ultimately reached on April 2, and a June 30 deadline for a comprehensive deal.

Highlighting how much work remains, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said on arrival in Vienna that major challenges remained, including on the parameters already agreed in April. “There are a number of different areas where we still have major differences of interpretation in detailing what was agreed in Lausanne,” Mr. Hammond told reporters. “There is going to have to be some give or take if we are to get this done in the next few days,” he said. “No deal is better than a bad deal.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:55:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-nuclear-talks-deadline-john-kerry/article7363868.ece

Next Story