Iranian minister hints that nuclear talks may be extended

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Credit: Marc Müller via Wikimedia Commons.

( Iran’s foreign minister suggested that talks over his country’s nuclear program may be extended beyond the July 20 deadline imposed as part of last year’s interim deal.

“We have made enough headway to be able to tell our bosses back home, all of them, that this is a process worth continuing,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, AFP reported. “This is my recommendation and I’m sure [U.S.] Secretary [of State John] Kerry will make the same recommendation.”

 “I am returning today to Washington to discuss with President Obama and leaders in Congress over the coming days about the prospects for a comprehensive agreement as well as the path forward if we do not achieve one by July 20,” Kerry said.

The U.S. says Iran must significantly reduce the amount of centrifuges it operates in order to eliminate the possibility of “breakout” ability to enrich enough uranium for a nuclear weapon. 

It is still unclear what type of enrichment capacity Iran seeks to retain. Last week, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic needs to significantly increase its uranium enrichment capacity to up to 190,000 centrifuges—10 times the amount the country is estimated to currently have.

Posted on July 15, 2014 .