Friday, May 22, 2015Friday, May 22, 2015

US, Iran lay ground for extension of nuclear deal deadline

Published on Jul 16, 2014 12:34 AM

VIENNA (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart laid the groundwork Tuesday for the possible extension of a Sunday deadline to strike a historic nuclear deal after intense talks in Vienna.

Both Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif said however after two days of one-on-one discussions which failed to yield any major breakthrough that negotiators would still keep trying until the July 20 cut-off.

After a decade of rising tensions, such an accord between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany is aimed to easing concerns that Iran might develop nuclear weapons and silencing talk of war.

"I am returning to Washington today to consult with President (Barack) Obama and with leaders in Congress over the coming days about the prospects for a comprehensive agreement, as well as a path forward if we do not achieve one by the 20th of July, including the question of whether or not more time is warranted, based on the progress we've made and how things are going," Kerry said.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!