Iran nuclear deadline looms as talks continue

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Iran nuclear deadline looms as talks continue

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US Secretary of State John Kerry has met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for a second day in Vienna, as both sides complain that scant progress has been made ahead of a July 20 deadline for a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Kerry has said that major differences persist between Iran and the six major negotiating powers.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China want Iran to reduce its nuclear fuel-making capacity to deny it any means of quickly producing atom bombs. In exchange, international sanctions that have crippled the large OPEC member’s oil-dependent economy would gradually be lifted.

Iran says it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy purposes only and wants the sanctions removed swiftly.