Foreign ministers during nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva
Foreign ministers during nuclear talks with Iran in GenevaReuters

Russia said on Friday there has been a "very worrying" slowdown in progress in nuclear talks between Iran and six major powers, after a diplomat told a local news agency the talks are “virtually stalled”, AFP reported.

"The rate of progress... is progressively slowing down," Russia’s chief negotiator, Sergei Ryabkov, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying as he arrived for the latest round of talks in Vienna.

"This is very worrying to us because there is very little time before the deadline and we urgently need to enter the final stage," he added.

Iran and the six major powers reached a framework nuclear deal on April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, and are seeking to reach a final agreement by the June 30 deadline, but still have to work out differences on several issues.

On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that in particular the issue of tighter UN inspections of Iran's remaining facilities after the mooted deal was not yet sewn up.

"The talks are supposed to wrap up on June 30. We have not yet completed our negotiations," Fabius, seen as something of a hawk in the talks, told French channel BFMTV and radio station RMC.

"If we want to be sure that the accord is solid we need to be able to inspect the sites... We don't yet have this certainty. This is one of the points we are discussing," he said.

"The agreement needs to be verifiable, solid, robust and right now we don't have such a guarantee."

Fabius has in the past stressed that France will not sign off on a deal with Iran if it rules out inspections of its military sites as part of the final agreement.

Fabius previously said Iran wants 24 days’ notice before international inspectors could visit its nuclear sites, and warned against accepting that precondition, saying "a lot of things can disappear" in 24 days.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)