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Iran Nuclear Talks Extended by 7 Months
Nov 26, 2014

Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme have been extended until the end of June next year in the hope that the broad outlines of a deal can be agreed within three months. The extension was announced after nine months of negotiations culminated in a week of talks in Vienna that failed to close gaps between Iran and a six-nation negotiating group over the scale of a future Iranian nuclear programme and the speed with which international sanctions would be lifted.

After the Vienna talks the US secretary of state John Kerry claimed, “Progress was made on some of the most vexing challenges that we face. We are closer to a deal that would make the entire world safer and more secure. Is it possible that in the end we just won’t arrive at a workable agreement? Absolutely…we are certainly not going to sit at the negotiating table for ever. But given how far we have come this is certainly not the time to get up and walk away.”


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also sounded an upbeat note, “During the talks in Vienna many gaps were narrowed and our positions with the other side got closer.” 


Talks will resume next month to try to consolidate progress made in Vienna and to continue the search for ways to bridge the remaining differences.


Twelve years after Iran’s nuclear programme was first revealed, the Vienna talks marked the latest in a long line of failed attempts to negotiate lasting curbs on Iranian activities so that the international community can be confident Iran is not trying to build a weapon. Last November, when military action by Israel appeared to be looming, an interim deal was agreed in Geneva that froze the Iranian programme and sanctions, significantly defusing tensions. The terms of that interim deal, in which Iran continues to abide by restrictions and can draw on some of its frozen assets around the world, will remain in force until June 30. 


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