Illustration: Iranian nuclear plant
Illustration: Iranian nuclear plantAFP photo

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Iran's foreign minister and the European Union foreign policy chief in Oman on November 9 and 10 to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue, the State Department said on Friday, according to Reuters.

Kerry's talks in Muscat, Oman with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the EU's Catherine Ashton are due to take place two weeks before a November 24 deadline to complete an agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

The talks were originally scheduled to end in July, but the deadline was extended when the sides failed to reach an agreement that would turn an interim deal into a permanent one.

The aim is to close avenues towards Tehran ever developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its enrichment program, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.

In return, the global community would suspend and then gradually lift crippling economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

But the two sides, despite long-running talks, remain far apart on how to reconcile their objectives.

Iran has been toughening its position, with senior negotiator Abbas Araqchi saying last week he sees no prospect for a deal unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.

This week, a senior Iranian official declared that Iran will demand that all Western sanctions be lifted as part of a final deal, rejecting an American proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)