Iran nuclear talks could be extended past deadline
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a press conference in Vienna, July 18, 2014. (AFP/File)
Talks in Vienna on Iran’s nuclear programme could be extended beyond a Monday night deadline as foreign ministers from six world powers go all out to get a deal.
The countries taking part are the United States, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany. (They are known as the so-called P5+1 group) plus Iran.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said a range of options are being considered as the deadline approaches.
If a deal is eventually reached on curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions in return for a lifting of sanctions it could transform the Middle East, bringing Iran in from the cold after decades of hostility with the West.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond said: “We’re all focused on trying to get a deal but I wouldn’t want to give any false hopes here. We’re still quite a long way apart and there are some very tough and complex issues to deal with but we’re all focused on trying to get a deal done.”
The talks aim to end Western suspicions that Iran is seeking nuclear bomb capability while allowing it to have a civilian programme. Tehran denies wanting nuclear weapons.