US Denies Plans to Extend Iran Nuclear Talks, But Progress Is Slow Going

November 24 Deadline Unlikely to Be Met

Once again we find ourselves just a month out from a “deadline” on the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran, and once again the prospect of a final negotiated settlement seems extremely unlikely before that deadline is reached.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says that there is considerable political will to move forward, and tried to put a brave face on the chances of a deal getting done by the deadline, but it’s slow going, and it’s hard to envision the broad settlement getting finalized so quickly.

Which is raising speculation about another extension of the talks, though the US has again denied that any discussion is in progress on any extension at all. That’s likely just the usual diplomatic game played ahead of deadlines, trying to push the other side to make broad concessions before “time runs out.”

But it’s a dangerous game, particularly with so many Congressmen so loudly against the negotiations on general principle. Every time one of these artificial deadlines approaches, there’s a risk that they’ll finally get there way and kill the talks outright, and get back on the path to a war with Iran.

With the US and Iran cooperating (albeit covertly) in the ISIS war, it’s hard to imagine the talks are really going to break down in the next month, but at the same time there remains a lot of momentum not just against a deal, but against negotiation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.