US: Iran interim deal extended to Friday

VIENNA: The US State Department says the 2013 interim nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries has been extended until Friday.

“To allow for the additional time to negotiate, we are taking the necessary technical steps for the measures of the Joint Point of Action (the 2013 agreement) to remain in place through July 10,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Tuesday.

Iran and the P5+1 group — Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – are negotiating in Vienna to work out a final agreement aimed at ending the longstanding Western dispute over the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear work.

Harf said that US Secretary of State John Kerry would remain in Vienna with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“We are taking these negotiations day to day to see if we can conclude a comprehensive agreement,” she noted.

“We’ve made substantial progress in every area, but this work is highly technical and high stakes for all of the countries involved. We’re frankly more concerned about the quality of the deal than we are about the clock,” Harf continued.

The extension of the terms of the 2013 deal means Friday is the new effective deadline for talks on a final deal over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

The nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 had already been extended to Tuesday.

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