Publishe Date: 12:04 PM - 7/1/2015 | Print

Iran Nuclear Talks Underway in Overtime

Politics - High-profile diplomatic meetings over a lasting deal on Tehran's nuclear program resumed in the Austrian capital on Wednesday after Iran and six world powers gave themselves an extra week to nail down details of the long-awaited agreement beyond an end-June deadline.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry are going to meet in the coming hours in a 19th century Viennese palace to discuss the latest status of the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

While Tuesday was the official deadline to reach a lasting deal, negotiations at the level of deputy foreign ministers and experts went into overtime on Wednesday morning in a marathon attempt to finalize the text of the accord.

US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the sides had agreed to extend the preliminary agreement until July 7 "to allow more time for negotiations to reach a long-term solution".

On Tuesday, Iran's lead negotiator Zarif held separate meetings with Kerry, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano.

Meanwhile, a ranking diplomat from the Group 5+1 (alternatively known as the P5+1 or E3+3) said foreign ministers of the negotiating parties are likely to hold a meeting on July 5.

Back on April 2, Iran and the six nations reached a framework nuclear agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, that provides outlines of a final agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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