US negotiating team meets with Iranian counterparts for nuclear talks
US negotiating team meets with Iranian counterparts for nuclear talksReuters

The United States has confirmed that nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers will continue beyond the self-imposed Tuesday night deadline and will be extended by at least a day.

Officials had said earlier they are ready to extend the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, if needed.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said enough progress had been made to warrant an extension, although there still were "several difficult issues" to bridge, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry who had planned to leave the talks on Tuesday will remain until Wednesday, she said.

An Iranian negotiator, meanwhile, said his team could stay "as long as necessary" to clear the remaining hurdles, according to AP.

In Washington, White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested that talks meant to produce an outline that would allow the sides to continue negotiations until the June 30 final deadline had not bridged all gaps. But he said that the sides were working to produce a text with few specifics, accompanied by documents outlining areas where further talks were needed.

"If it's necessary — and, when I say if it's necessary I mean if it's midnight and a deal has not been reached but the conversations continue to be productive — we'll be prepared to continue the talks into tomorrow," he was quoted as having told reporters.

"If we are making progress toward the finish line, than we should keep going."

It has been charged that President Barack Obama is "desperate" to seal a deal and score a foreign policy "achievement," even as Israel and other sources warn the deal threatens to leave the Islamic regime with the ability to rapidly produce a nuclear arsenal at the time of its choosing.

Strengthening concerns that a bad deal is being formed, an aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who defected last week revealed the American negotiating team is just speaking "speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the P5+1 countries and convince them of a deal."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that the deal being formed will leave Iran with its secret nuclear facilities and centrifuges used in enriching uranium, a key part of the process in developing nuclear weapons.