All bets remained off as negotiators held back-to-back meetings before Friday’s effective deadline, hoping to end a 13-year standoff with Iran over its suspect nuclear programme.
The United Kingdom foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, and the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, are also in Vienna and expected to stay for late-night talks on Thursday. Congress will have 60 days to vote to approve the deal-if they vote against the deal, the president will be able to veto Congress. If there’s no vote in the time allotted then the deal, which will involve sanctions relief, can move forward.
The Iranian official declined to identify which subjects the group was arguing over, except to say they involved “a whole range of issues”.
Talks between Iran, the United States and other world powers continued through the day Friday.
The remark was made in a phone conversation requested by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Zarif’s critical comments were thus seen as mostly directed against Washington.
Many outside analysts think that the two sides still are likely to reach an agreement in the next few days.
Kerry smiled and waved his finger at her in a jesting reprimand.
Beyond “witnessing a change of stances” from the other side, Zarif noted a “different stand” on some issues among the six nations. “There will be centrifugal forces working against us”, he said, referring to hardliners in both Iran and the United States.
Kerry had warned Thursday the Americans were ready to leave the talks, declaring “we can’t wait forever for a decision to be made”.
At another point in the talks, Zarif said he could take his interlocutors to worldwide court for the west’s support of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. But while Germany’s foreign minister remains in Vienna, the Russians and Chinese left days ago, and their French and British counterparts followed Friday, reflecting the lack of substantial advances.
“This is not open-ended”, Kerry said outside the 19th-century Viennese palace hosting the negotiations.
At the same time, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also came to balcony but did not talk to reporters.
The latest extension is just one of several as negotiators have blown past a series of deadlines in the nuclear talks. The U.S.is “obsessed” with sanctions, said the official, adding that the deadlock could prove a major setback.
“In my opinion, it will be found soon”, he said after hosting a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation that saw him meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Thursday.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that the disagreement between Zarif and Kerry was so intense that a Kerry aide “tip-toed into the room” to remind the two that everyone in the building could hear them shouting. Russia, participating in the talks, has been pushing an end to the arms embargo-which would require approval by the United Nations Security Council. After Moscow broached the idea in April in conjunction with announcing plans to complete the sale of advanced surface-to-air missiles to Tehran, US lawmakers declared it a betrayal and asked President Obama to block the transfer.