With the June 30 deadline just days away, there is still no official word on a new extension of the interim P5+1 nuclear agreement, though both US and Iranian officials are confirming that negotiators are planning to remain in Vienna beyond the deadline to continue the talks.
It’s not unusual for this to happen in the lead-up to a deadline, as officials often try to play hardball at the last minute, and claim the deadline this time is firm, though each time they eventually all concede that the talks are just too complicated to wrap up in time, and more is needed.
Former Obama aide Dennis Ross indicated the next deadline would “reasonably” be 90 or 180 days, When the talks began, seemingly everyone agreed the initial six month timetable for talks was much too short, and the extensions have just kept coming.
More progress keeps getting made all the time, however, and there was even some hope that a final deal could be reached by the end of June. Details on the periphery, including access to Iranian military sites with no proven link to any nuclear research past or present, remain unresolved.
A six month extension seems the most likely result, as it would push the talks toward the end of the year, giving more time for talks. As with past extensions, this is sure to spawn a new round of condemnations from Congressional hawks and foreign factions opposed to the nuclear talks, notably Israel.