After more than two weeks of marathon negotiations, Iran and six world powers were close to nailing down an historic nuclear deal that would bring sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s atomic program, diplomats said on Sunday.
But Iranian and Western officials said it was highly unlikely they would be able to finalize an agreement on Sunday, saying the earliest an agreement could be ready was more likely Monday.
“We are working hard, but a deal tonight is simply logistically impossible,” Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian delegation, said on Twitter. “This is a 100-page document, after all.”
In a sign that prospects for a deal on Sunday were vanishing, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was on his way back to London, though he was expected to return on Monday, officials close to the talks said.
© REUTERS/Carlos Barria U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waves as he leaves Stephen’s Cathedral after attending a mass in Vienna, Austria © REUTERS/Carlos Barria U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Stephen’s Cathedral after attending a mass in Vienna, Austria
A Western official said Tehran and Washington would need time to consult their capitals once an agreement was reached.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned that some difficult issues remained on the 16th day of ministerial negotiations between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
© REUTERS/Carlos Barria U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to a hotel staff as he leaves on the way to mass at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria
“I think we’re getting to…