With just five days left until the November 24 deadline, British and US diplomats are expressing pessimism about the chances of actually coming to some sort of deal with Iran before then.
“Right now, I think it’s going to be difficult to get to where we want to go,” insisted Obama aide Tony Blinken, insisting Iran has to take more steps to placate the US and “convince our partners.”
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also said he doubted that there was any chance a final deal could be reached by the Monday deadline, though he did hold out hope for an extension “if we’re making a good progress in the right direction.”
Extensions are risky with a much more hawkish US Senate coming into office in January, and planning to pass a bill that would give them effective veto power over US negotiations.
The more realistic hope is that another “partial” deal would be reached that will be closer to a final settlement, and will leave open room for technical issues to be settled later.