told the Associated Press this morning before negotiations reconvened in Vienna that Iran and the P5+1 remain apart on all main elements of a nuclear deal and will likely need to extend negotiations past the June 30 deadline. The diplomats, speaking on conditions of anonymity, described the current draft of the agreement as a patchwork of text replete with blank spaces because of no consensus on up to 10 issues crucial to reaching a deal.
Their assessment is consistent with Russian chief delegate Sergey Ryabkov’s
concerns on Friday that progress in negotiations had stalled, though he
later backtracked on Monday and said that an agreement before June 30 was quite possible. The diplomats added that both sides believe that a delay up to July 9 would not be a deal-breaker because any deal reached by then would still give Congress only 30 days to review it. President Rouhani, who
faces impeachment again in the Iranian parliament, also
hinted on Saturday at the possibility of a delay if the P5+1 insisted on stringent measures outside the deal’s framework.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry, responding to Senate Republicans,
told reporters last night that the U.S. would not require Iran to disclose all of its previous weaponization efforts to reach a deal. Senate Republicans had raised concerns about this in a
letter to President Obama yesterday and have also accused the Obama administration of
deliberately downplaying the terrorist threat posed by Iran in the 2015 World Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community.