(AA) – The deadline for establishing an outline agreement between Iran and the P5+1 states over Tehran’s nuclear program has been extended to Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.
The decision to go beyond the March 31 deadline was made as White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington D.C. that U.S. negotiators intended to continue talks on Wednesday “if necessary and as long as the conversations continue to be productive”.
Zarif said: “We have accomplished a quite a bit.
“l hope we can finalize the work on Wednesday and hopefully start the process of drafting.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Iran and the P5+1 countries – the U.S., China, France, Russia, the UK, plus Germany – had reached agreement on all key issues in nuclear talks in Lausanne.
Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the U.S., China, France, Russia, the UK, plus Germany, had originally set March 31 as a deadline for negotiators to reach an outline deal, ahead of a deadline for a final accord set for the end of June.
Two previous deadlines for a deal have passed as negotiators seek to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Tehran has long maintained that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful civilian purposes but world powers are suspicious that the program could potentially be used for military purposes.