Iran nuclear talks may be extended

US sees 'big gaps', deal by the end of today very unlikely

Iran, Nuclear, Sanctions, NEWS, International News

Nuclear talks between Iran and the Western powers may be extended as the two sides are struggling to overcome differences, Reuters has reported.

The American Secretary of State John Kerry said there were still "big gaps" between expectations and reality, while a European source told Reuters the likelihood of a final deal by the end of today was "very small".

"The chances of reaching a deal in the next 48 hours are very small," the European source said. "Our feeling is that they (Iran's negotiators) don't have a lot of flexibility."

There had been "no significant" progress on the main stumbling blocks of Iran's uranium enrichment capacity and the lifting of the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, the source said.

Diplomats said a framework accord was still possible, but that weeks if not months would then be needed to agree on the all-important details of how it would be implemented.

Earlier on Saturday, Kerry held a conference call with the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

The negotiations in Vienna are intended to resolve a 20-year deadlock between Iran and the West. If sanctions are lifted, the oil and gas market in the Middle East could experience a major shift.  
 

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