Kerry cites big gaps in nu­clear talks with Iran

The Covington News - - WORLD -

VI­ENNA (AP) — The fate of a pos­si­ble land­mark nu­clear deal with Iran sank fur­ther into limbo Tues­day, with U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry not­ing “very real gaps” ahead of a July 20 tar­get date for a deal meant to put firm curbs on Tehran’s atomic pro­gram.

Kerry, who joined the for­eign min­is­ters of Bri­tain, France and Ger­many on the weekend to add diplo­matic mus­cle to the talks, said the ne­go­ti­a­tions would con­tinue un­til at least Sun­day. In the mean­time, he said, he would con­sult with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress on where the talks are if no pact is agreed on by July 20.

“There has been tan­gi­ble progress on key is­sues,” Kerry told re­porters. “How­ever there are very real gaps on other key is­sues.”

He spoke af­ter mul­ti­ple con­ver­sa­tions with Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammed Javad Zarif and sep­a­rate meet­ings with the for­eign min­is­ters of Bri­tain, France and Ger­many, who also con­verged on the Vi­enna talks in an at­tempt to move them for­ward.

An ex­ten­sion of up to six months is pos­si­ble for the ne­go­ti­a­tions by mu­tual agree­ment, and Zarif sug­gested that is likely. He said there was enough progress “to be able to tell our po­lit­i­cal bosses back home ... that this is a process which is worth con­tin­u­ing.”

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