With a June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal just around the corner, major differences remain between Iran and world powers on several key issues, a senior Western diplomat said on Friday, according to the Reuters news agency.
"The most difficult subjects need to be resolved in the coming days," the diplomat told reporters on condition of anonymity in Vienna, where talks between the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran have entered their final phase.
"The questions of access and transparency, PMD (possible military dimensions) and sanctions remain extremely problematic," the diplomat said. "We can find an agreement on some points, but on major issues there are still big differences."
The comments are just the latest in a series of indications that the sides are not close to an agreement.
Two diplomats made similar comments last week, saying that the sides are still apart on all main elements of the nuclear deal. Previously, a diplomat who had spoken with a Russian news agency said the talks are “virtually stalled”.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, further complicated the situation this week, when he unequivocally declared that freezing sensitive nuclear work in the country for a lengthy time period is “not acceptable”.
Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was unfazed by Khamenei’s remarks, saying they were meant for “domestic political consumption”.
(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.)