VIENNA — An interim nuclear agreement between Iran and six major world powers has been extended through Monday so that negotiators have more time to pursue a final accord, the State Department announced on Friday.
“To allow for the additional time to negotiate, we are taking the necessary technical steps for the measures of the Joint Plan of Action to remain in place through July 13,” a State Department official said in a statement, using the technical name for the interim agreement.
The announcement was not a surprise. With diplomats still struggling to overcome an array of disagreements, it was obvious early Friday that the talks would need to continue over the weekend, if not beyond.
The extension of the interim agreement will maintain a freeze on much of Iran’s nuclear program in return for modest sanctions relief while negotiators continue to meet. This is the third time it has been extended since the negotiators missed a June 30 deadline for concluding a final agreement.
Interactive Feature | Key Developments on Iran Nuclear Negotiations An outline of major developments since the framework agreement in April that could influence the final round of talks.
Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who attended a White House briefing Thursday night on the talks, said Obama administration officials believed that they would know the outcome of the talks soon.
“We will know within the next day or two whether they have an agreement,” Mr. Cardin said in a telephone interview on Friday. “Then it will take a day or two to put it together.”
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(via NY Times)