If Iran were shown to have cheated on the JPOA, it would make it more hard for Obama to sell a long-term accord to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on Iranian nuclear work to skeptical lawmakers in the Republican-led Congress.
He issued a warning that the talks could still collapse.
“But I’ve said from the moment I became involved in this we want a good agreement, only a good agreement, and we’re not going to shave anywhere at the margins in order just to get an agreement”.
An IAEA probe of allegations that Iran worked secretly on nuclear arms has been essentially stalemated for nearly a decade, with Iran dismissing them as phony evidence planted by the United States and Israel.
He added: “If there’s absolute intransigence… we’ll be prepared to walk away”.
The major powers suspect Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
As negotiations stretched into Sunday night, USA officials were preparing for a variety of scenarios, including failure. Other overseas ministers began to return to Vienna on Sunday to assist push for a swift deal. Under the technical annex to the Lausanne agreement that is now under negotiation, Iran would have the right to receive the evidence on which the IAEA is basing its request, according to Iranian officials.
President Obama must submit a final deal to Congress for review by July 9.
One Western source present in Vienna said the administration is scrambling to ensure that nothing interferes with a final deal.
Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday the progressing talks in Vienna do not represent a “breakthrough but rather a breakdown”.
Asked by The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday whether the U.S. seeks an explicit acknowledgement from Iran that the IAEA’s protocols grant it access to its military sites, a senior U.S. administration official suggested world powers had worked out a mechanism.
This weekend was spent in a flurry of meetings, interrupted only briefly as the USA team paused to celebrate Independence Day. “Some differences remain and we are trying and working hard”, Zarif told reporters. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has met more than a dozen times for a combined 24 hours with his counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi. The two men were set to meet again.
Opponents of the deal say it will give Iran a huge economic boost as sanctions are eased and its government reclaims up to $150 billion frozen in overseas accounts.
Meanwhile, an Iranian official stated delegations from the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will maintain talks with Iranian officers on Monday.
A senior Iranian official told CNN on Monday that there can be “further engagement and interaction” between the two sides if the US makes “constructive moves”.
“They are down to implementation details that can be resolved”, said Daryl G.
“Amano’s statement was positive and a significant step towards resolution of the investigation”, Arms Control Association expert Kelsey Davenport told the AFP news agency. “The fundamental issues have been addressed”.
But the talks appeared to be deadlocked over several key issues, making an agreement in time for Tuesday’s deadline unlikely.
He declined to say who were his most frequent customers, but said that as far as he was concerned, the longer the negotiations between Iran and the six world powers (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) drag on, the better.