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Iran nuclear talks deadline extended to end of June

The deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran has been extended to the end of June after talks in Vienna failed to reach a comprehensive agreement.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said good progress had been made, but it was “not possible to get an agreement by the [original] deadline”.
Six world powers want Iran to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.
Tehran says it is not seeking nuclear weapons, but wants atomic energy.
The six countries – the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany – have been in negotiations with Iran to finalise a preliminary deal reached last year in Geneva.
Speaking after the Vienna talks had ended, Mr Hammond said that negotiations would resume in December, and would be extended until 30 June 2015.
Iran would be allowed to continue accessing $700m (£450m) a month in frozen assets during that period.
Diplomats are hoping to reach a high-level political agreement by 1 March, with the full technical details of the agreement confirmed by 1 July.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hammond said that the failure to agree a deal was “a disappointment, but rather than continue blindly we have to recognise the reality that we’re not going to make a deal tonight”.
He said he was aware that there were hardliners opposed to any deal in both Iran and the US, and said talks would resume again in December to try to keep up the pace of discussions.
“We are all clear that enough progress has been made that maintaining the current momentum, and keeping working at it, does give us the prospect of getting to a deal,” he added.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is to give a national address at 18:00 GMT, Iranian news agencies reported.
Western states want to reduce Iran’s capacity for uranium enrichment in order to prevent it acquiring weapons-grade material but Tehran is set on expanding it nearly twentyfold in the coming years
Iran wants sanctions lifted immediately but Western states want to stagger their removal to ensure Tehran abides by its commitments
Iran has failed to explain explosives tests and other activity that could be linked to a nuclear weapons programme and has denied international nuclear inspectors access to its Parchin military site.
Under the terms of international treaties, countries have the right to develop nuclear energy, which Iran insists is its only aim.
However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it has been unable to confirm Tehran’s assertions that its nuclear activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Highly enriched uranium can be used to make a nuclear bomb, but uranium enriched to lower levels can be used for energy purposes.
Foreign ministers at the talks in Vienna, 24 November Monday’s talks were the final day of a lengthy session in Vienna
Iranian students chant slogans to show their support for Iran’s nuclear programme in a gathering in front of the headquarters of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization in Tehran, Iran, 23 November 2014 Iranian students rallied in support of the country’s nuclear programme on Sunday, in a rare protest approved by the authorities
The United Nations Security Council has adopted six resolutions since 2006 requiring Iran to stop enriching uranium, with sanctions to persuade Iran to comply.
The US and EU have imposed additional sanctions on Iranian oil exports and banks since 2012, hitting Iran’s oil revenue badly.
Both Saudi Arabia and Israel are also vehemently opposed to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal visited Vienna at the weekend for talks with US Secretary of State Mr Kerry, though his country is not formally involved in the discussions.

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