Officials indicated that a final deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program had good chances of being reached on Monday, but Iran's senior negotiator was quoted by the Islamic regime's state press on Monday saying that a deal may remain elusive for several more days.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is serving as Iran's chief negotiator in the nuclear negotiations, was quoted by state-controlled PressTV saying there are several key issues holding back a final deal.
"Talks have reached the final breathtaking moments; certain issues still remain," Araqchi said. "As long as these issues are not settled, one cannot say we have reached an agreement."
He said that a final deal may not come even by Tuesday night, stating, "I cannot promise that the issues will be resolved by tonight or tomorrow night."
The Iranian negotiator said he hopes the sides will work out the issues and "reach a point which both sides agree on."
Talks have meandered on through three deadlines that were extended one after the other, first on June 30, then July 7, and then July 10 which coincidentally was Iran's "Death to Israel Day."
Ahead of the last official deadline, US Secretary of State John Kerry essentially took the negotiations off the clock, saying, "we will not be rushed," and "we shouldn’t get up to leave because the clock strikes midnight."
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, its demand for the immediate removal of all sanctions, and a demand to end the UN arms embargo on the Islamic regime.
In Vienna where the talks are being held, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday according to PressTV.
Wang was quoted by the paper saying, "new progress has been made in the final stage of the talks; China believes no agreement can be perfect, conditions are already in place for a good agreement, we believe there cannot and should not be further delay."
Meanwhile on Sunday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has often been touted as a "moderate," expressed his confidence that Iran will be "victorious" in the talks which he framed as a "battle."
"We have come a long way. Currently, we are very close to the peak, but there are still steps left to reach this peak. With the help of God, Iranian negotiators will emerge victorious from this difficult and complicated battle," said Rouhani.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei revealed in January 2014 that the nuclear talks are an Islamic stalling tactic of deception to buy time and release world pressure while pushing ahead on Iran's nuclear program.