Desperate for a deal?
US Willing to Work Past Iran Nuclear Deal Deadline

State Dept. says it will push into Wednesday to try and seal a deal, but will leave talks before June deadline if they go nowhere.

Ari Yashar, | updated: 21:46

John Kerry attends nuclear talks in Switzerland
John Kerry attends nuclear talks in Switzerland
Reuters

As the March 31 deadline for an Iran nuclear deal ticks down, US State Department officials said Tuesday they are ready to extend the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, overnight and into Wednesday if needed.

"Our team is evaluating where we are throughout the day and making decisions about the best path forward," a senior State Department official said according to Reuters, just hours before the deadline expires.

The official added "we will of course keep working if we are continuing to make progress, including into tomorrow if it’s useful to do so."

It has been charged that US 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 US negotiating team is just speaking "speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal."

Western and Iranian officials stated that despite the March 31 deadline by which point a deal outline was meant to be reached, the final deadline set for talks is June 30.

However, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said Tuesday that if the talks do not progress, America will not wait for the June deadline and instead will leave the talks early, reports Reuters.

The comment may be an attempt to increase the pressure further on Iran to solidify a deal for the current deadline.

Since an interim according in November 2013, talks between Iran and world powers have seen two deadlines for a long-term pact come and go.

One Western diplomat admitted that the deal being formed will just be "incomplete and kick some issues down the road."

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.

"The two sticking points are the duration (of the deal - ed.) and the lifting of sanctions," an Iranian official said of the talks. "The two sides are arguing about the content of the text. Generally progress has been made."

Sanctions on Iran which the deal seeks to ease have cut Iran's oil exports in half to just over 1 million barrels per day since being implemented in 2012.




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