LAUSANNE - U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. negotiating team to ignore the original deadline for midnight March 31 during a secured video conference in Lausanne on Tuesday night, hoping to prevent Iran from pressuring the United State and extorting further concessions, the New York Times reported Thursday.
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Obama reportedly ordered U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to make clear that Obama would order the negotiating team to walk away from the negotiating table and leave all sanctions against Iran in place.
The nuclear talks at Lausanne between Iran and world powers have been extended for a second day, with Kerry opting to remain in Lausanne at least until Thursday morning.
Uninterrupted marathon negotiations continued Wednesday night, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and senior EU adviser Helga Schmid meeting for more than two-and-a-half hours in an attempt to reach a breakthrough.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius returned to Lausanne on Wednesday evening to join the talks, after he had left earlier in the day.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told Iranian media that the efforts to find a solution had become extremely difficult. He said that political will was needed in order to make headway, adding that has always been an issue on the powers' side.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told German reporters that one of the remaining disputes has to do with the timetable for removing sanctions from Iran, as well as the mechanism that will ensure that if Tehran violates the agreement, United Nations Security Council resolutions would be immediately reinstated.