'No Deal Today', Says Iran's Foreign Minister

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the sides still have work to do before a nuclear deal is announced.

Elad Benari ,

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran and six world powers were close to reaching a nuclear deal, but the Iranian foreign minister said no agreement would be announced on Sunday, according to Reuters.

After more than two weeks of negotiations in Vienna, Iranian and Western officials said the earliest an agreement could be ready was Monday, the self-imposed deadline for clinching a deal, though that could be extended again.

"We still have got work to do tomorrow," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters from his hotel balcony, according to the Reuters news agency. "No deal today."

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian delegation, said on Twitter that the draft agreement Iran and the powers - the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China - were working on was "a 100-page document".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday further measures were still needed to overcome the remaining obstacles in the negotiations.

"It might seem we have reached the top of the mountain. But no, there are still steps needed to be taken," he was quoted by Reuters as having said. saying. "Even if we fail ... we have performed our duty."

The talks on a permanent deal between Iran and six world powers, which have already been extended several times and were to end Friday, were extended yet again through the weekend.

Major disagreements in the talks have included Iran's refusal to allow inspections on sensitive nuclear sites, its refusal to disclose the military aspects of its nuclear program, and in a newly added demand, Iran has called to end the UN arms embargo on the Islamic regime.

One Iranian official admitted on Thursday that "God only knows" if a deal is close, echoing comments attributed to U.S. 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."

Meanwhile, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday published an outline of the expected nuclear agreement between Iran and Western powers.

The most notable aspect of the deal is that "all economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be terminated for good on day one after the endorsement of the deal."

The report also stated that “the upcoming UN Security Council resolution – that will call all the previous five resolutions against Iran null and void - will be the last resolution to be issued on Iran’s nuclear program and [the UN will withdraw] Iran’s nuclear dossier from under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This last resolution will remain valid and will be implemented for a specifically limited period of time and will then automatically end at the end of this period.”