As other international officials joined EU and Iranian negotiators for the Vienna talks, there is growing pessimism about finalizing the nuclear deal by the June 30 deadline, with reports that the talks are moving at a snail’s pace, described by some as “virtually stalled.”
Though some were privately conceding the deadline was in jeopardy even before the latest talks began, most officials are still publicly insisting they’re operating on the assumption that the deadline is carved in stone. This, of course, has been claimed with past deadlines as well.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent injury was a big blow to the latest deadline, as he and Iranian FM Javad Zarif appear to have a good working relationship and most of the major progress made in past months has come when they were able to meet.
Kerry is finally out of the hospital, and is said to have been cleared to travel. He is expected to fly to Europe for the final push before the deadline, though at this point it may well be too late to avoid another six month extension of the interim nuclear deal.