Iran says nuclear talks could go beyond June deadline
TEHRAN - Talks between Iran and world powers aimed at finalising a deal over Tehran's nuclear programme could go beyond a June 30 deadline, a senior Iranian negotiator said Wednesday.
"We are not at the point where we can say that negotiations will be completed quickly -- they will continue until the deadline and could continue beyond that," Abbas Araghchi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
Araghchi has been attending a fresh round of talks between Iranian representatives and officials from the P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany -- which got under way in Vienna on Tuesday.
The two sides signed a framework agreement on April 2 and aim to seal a final deal by the end of next month to prevent Iran from developing an atomic bomb, in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions.
"We are not bound by the schedule. We are trying to have a good agreement with all the details meeting our expectations," Araghchi said, describing the efforts to draw up a final text as "hard work".
Iranian media quoted deputy oil minister Amirhossein Zamani-Nia as saying on Monday that 20 pages of the text had been written "but there are still disagreements and 30 percent of the work remains to be done."