With nuclear talks extended to Friday, the question remains whether Iran and six world powers can thrash out a deal by the new deadline or call it a day.
Restrictions on Iran’s missile programme as well as a broader arms embargo are proving to be the main sticking points in achieving a deal to curtain the country’s nuclear programme in exchange for relief from sanctions.
“The argument that the Iranian side is using is if the arms embargo remains in place what criteria, what objective milestone the other side is going to use further down the road to lift it,” Ali Vaez, Senior analyst for the International Crisis Group told euronews. “Is it going to be lifted in two years, in five years, in 10 years. Is it going to be in place indefinitely? And the other side’s argument is if the arms embargo is lifted under conditions that the Middle East is in turmoil, it would send a very wrong signal to the regional countries and it would turn this agreement into a very toxic one. And these are the very serious political concerns that both sides have.”
Getting all parties on the same page may require some rapid diplomacy. Euronews correspondent Reihaneh Mazaheri in Vienna says:
“Resolving the remaining issues requires more time. This is the only news to have come out from the talks. Negotiators say they were not supposed to extend the deadline. During the last two days, talks between Foreign ministers and their deputies went into the night. Both side emphasised that it’s time to resolve the disputes, making it a case of now or never.”