VIENNA (AP) – A senior U.S. official acknowledged Sunday that Iran nuclear talks will go past their June 30 target date, as Iran’s foreign minister prepared to head home for consultations before returning to push for a breakthrough.
Iranian media said Mohammed Javad Zarif’s trip was planned in advance. Still, the fact that he was leaving the talks so close to what had been the Tuesday deadline reflected both that the talks had a ways to go and his need to get instructions on how to proceed on issues where the sides remain apart – among them how much access Tehran should give to U.N. experts monitoring his country’s compliance to any deal.
The United States insists on more intrusive monitoring than Iran is ready to give. With these and other disputes still unresolved, the likelihood that the Tuesday target deadline for an Iran nuclear deal could slip was increasingly growing even before the U.S. confirmation.
The dispute over access surfaced again Sunday, with Iranian Gen. Masoud Jazayeri saying that any inspection by foreigners of Iran’s military centers is prohibited.
He said the attempt by the U.S. and its allies to “obtain Iran’s military information for years … by the pressure of sanctions” will not succeed.