Iran Claims West Has Toughened its Stance

Iranian television claims that West has toughened its stance as yet another deadline for nuclear deal looms.

Elad Benari ,

Iran nuclear talks in Vienna
Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

The Western countries have hardened their stance in nuclear talks between six major powers and the Islamic Republic, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Iranian state TV.

"The West has toughened its stance within last few hours, and in a clear U-turn even refuses to accept Iran’s nuclear rights,” state TV quoted officials as having said.

Another Iranian source told the Fars news agency that the United States' refusal to accept Iran's “rights”, particularly on sanctions, is blocking a deal.

"While the Iranian team is showing flexibility, the Americans are refusing to accept Iran's obvious right, particularly on sanctions," the agency quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The talks between Iran and the six powers are reaching a critical point, as legislation passed by the United States Congress in April gives lawmakers only 30 days to review the contents of the deal should it pass on or before July 9.

But, should a deal be reached after July 9, Congress will have a much more advantageous 60 days to review the accord.

The deadline for a final deal has already been extended several times, including twice more in the last week and a half alone. While a deal was originally to be reached by July 30, the sides extended it to July 7 and then again to Friday.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s deadline, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday evening said “tough issues” still remain to be solved.

Kerry said that "we will not rush, and we will not be rushed" into making a nuclear deal, while adding that the talks are "not open-ended."

One Iranian official admitted earlier on Thursday that "God only knows" if a deal is close, reported AFP, echoing comments attributed to President Barack Obama a day before by a senior Democratic senator, who said Obama believes the chances of a nuclear agreement with Iran are “less than 50-50."