Iran Says There is No Progress After Latest Talks

Iran’s deputy foreign minister says no progress was made in two days of talks in Oman, as November 24 deadline approaches.

Ben Ariel ,

Zarif, Kerry and Ashton meet in Oman
Zarif, Kerry and Ashton meet in Oman

An Iranian official said on Monday there was no progress in two days of nuclear talks with the United States and the European Union in Oman, Bloomberg reports.

Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said that “after hours of talks we are still not in a position to say we have made progress and we cannot say that we have regressed,” according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, former European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrapped up the talks in the Omani capital, Muscat.

Negotiations will resume in Vienna on November 18, less than a week before the November 24 deadline that the sides have laid down for an agreement to ease sanctions and curb Iran’s nuclear work.

Despite assurances it is confident of reaching a deal on November 24, Iran, has been toughening its stance in recent weeks. Araqchi recently said he sees no prospect for a deal unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.

A senior Iranian official followed those comments by declaring 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.

President Barack Obama admitted on Sunday that there was a “big gap” between Iran and the six world powers, telling CBS News, “We may not be able to get there”.