Iran N-talks extended to July 7text_fields
Washington: The crucial talks on the contentious nuclear programme of Tehran between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers have been extended by one week to July 7, the US State Department said on Tuesday, according to the official Press TV.
"The P5+1 and Iran have decided to extend the measures under (2013 interim deal) until July 7 to allow more time for negotiations to reach a long-term solution," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said on Tuesday, as a June 30 midnight deadline approached.
Earlier, Iranian chief negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting in Austrian capital Vienna.
Speaking after his closed door meeting with Kerry, the Iranian foreign minister said he has a mandate to negotiate and clinch a final nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of world powers.
"I didn't go (to Tehran) to get a mandate. I already had a mandate to negotiate and I'm here to get a final deal and I think we can," Zarif said.
After the one-and-a-half-hour one-on-one meeting, Iranian deputy foreign ministers, Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Robert Maley of the US National Security Council joined Zarif and Kerry.
Also present at the talks were Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and Hossein Fereydoun, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's top aide, as well as US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Zarif was scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then meet International Atomic Energy Agency director general Yukiya Amano later on Tuesday.
The Iranian foreign minister left the Austrian capital late on Sunday, but his deputies Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi stayed back to continue talks on preparing the text of the comprehensive agreement.
In the absence of Zarif, the Iranian negotiators held four rounds of talks with European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmidt on Monday. US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman was present at one round of these talks.
Iran, the European Union and representatives of the P5+1 group of world powers -- the US, Britain, France, China, Russia plus Germany -- are holding intensive talks to reach a final agreement on Iran's nuclear issue.