U.S. Official: Iran Will Face Arms, Missile Restrictions Under Nuclear Deal

EU: Nuclear talks with Iran to run beyond Tuesday deadline; U.S.: interim deal extended until July 10.

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European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrives for a press briefing outside Palais Coburg, the venue for nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, July 7, 2015
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrives for a press briefing outside Palais Coburg, the venue for nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, July 7, 2015Credit: Reuters

VIENNA - Iran will continue to face restrictions on its missile program as well as its trade in conventional arms under an emerging nuclear agreement, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday, hours after diplomats said that the talks between Tehran and world powers would continue past deadline until July 10.

The six major powers and Iran are still not where they need to be to achieve an agreement under which Iran would restrict its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions, the official added on condition of anonymity.

"There will be an ongoing restriction on arms (if there is a deal), just like there will be ongoing restrictions regarding missiles," the official said. "It will be part of the (United Nations) Security Council resolution."

Any deal concluded by Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China will include a draft Security Council resolution that terminates all UN sanctions but re-imposes some specific measures. That resolution will then be presented to the 15-nation council for official adoption.

The official also said that the U.S. did not plan to agree to an additional three to six month extension of talks.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said earlier Tuesday that Iran and major powers woulf continue negotiations "for the next couple of days," but added: "This does not mean we are extending our deadline."

At the same time, the U.S. State Department announced that the interim agreement with Iran that was signed in late 2013 will be extended until July 10.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters the still unresolved issues in the talks are the freeze of Iranian research and development, the sanctions "snapback," and the possible military dimensions of past Iranian nuclear work.

"I will return to Paris tonight ... and I will return tomorrow at 21:45," he said.

Tuesday started with "intensive consultations" among the sextet of foreign ministers from the P5+1 world powers, the German Foreign Ministry said. However, no meetings were held between them and Iran's foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. The meetings imply that world powers currently disagree about the details of the deal, a disagreement which delays the presentation of such a deal to the Iranians.

Two of the P5+1's foreign ministers - Russia's Sergey Lavrov and China's Wang Yi – will leave the talks to join their countries' leaders at the Shanghai summit in Ufa, Russia, attended by Iran's President Hassan Rohani.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Tuesday that "We are taking these negotiations day to day to see if we can conclude a comprehensive agreement," and added that Kerry will remain in Vienna to continue discussions.

"We've made substantial progress in every area, but this work is highly technical and high stakes for all of the countries involved," Harf said.

At a Monday briefing for Western reporters in Vienna, where talks are taking place, a senior Iranian diplomat said his country has no objection to continuing the talks beyond July 7, the deadline set last week. The previous day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press statement that in his view, the deadline is still Tuesday.

Since the current round of talks started on June 27, negotiators have been unable to remove a few - but important - stumbling blocks, among them the level of access that Tehran will grant the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran and the P5+1 still disagree on the timing and sequence of lifting the complex web of economic and military sanctions that Western countries and the United Nations have imposed to pressure Tehran into negotiating a deal.

From the Obama Administration’s perspective, an extension in the talks will make it hard to present the final deal to the Senate before July 9, when the Foreign Relations Committee is slated to start discussing it. If committee members don’t receive the agreement by then, the time the Senate is allotted to consider it will double, from 30 to 60 days.

The head of the Senate committee, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), called State Secretary John Kerry this week, and demanded that the deal will include a clause allowing UN inspectors to tour Iran's nuclear sites "any time, any place," a demand the Iranians vehemently oppose.

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