Iran nuclear talks to go beyond June 30 deadline

VIENNA, (AFP) - Talks between Iran and major powers on finalising a historic nuclear deal will go beyond the June 30 deadline, a spokesman for the Iranian delegation in talks in Vienna said on Sunday.

"Because there is still lots of work to do the delegations will remain beyond Tir 10 (July 1) to continue the negotiations and reach a good overall deal," the spokesman said.

"At the same time there is no desire or discussion yet on a long-term extension," he said.

Officials have said that the deadline may be missed by a few days but until now no officials have confirmed that it will.

The talks between Iran and the P5+1 - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - are aimed at finalising a framework deal struck in April.

According to that agreement, Iran will sharply reduce its nuclear programme in scale and submit to tighter UN inspections in order to make any drive to make an atomic bomb virtually impossible.

In return Iran, which denies seeking the bomb, will see painful sanctions lifted. Tough remaining issues include the timing and pace of the sanctions relief and UN access to Iranian military bases.