Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says that his government has nothing to do with the decision to extend the June 30 deadline by only one week, to July 7. He suggested that Iranian negotiators remain unconcerned with deadlines, and will focus on making more progress.
The short extension surprised many. Previous extensions have been 3-6 months, sand it was expected that a similar extension would be announced here. The 7 day extension led to speculation that a deal is extremely close, though the US has denied this to be the case.
The belief is that the US was the one that pushed the July 7 date, with the Obama Administration eager to get the deal to Congress before July 9. After then, Congress has 60 days to review any nuclear deal reached with Iran, but before that it would be only 30 days.
It remains to be seen if the July 7 deadline really means a final deal is possible within the next week, and Zarif’s comments might not be particularly telling either, but just a continuation of the Iranian efforts not to be coaxed into concessions when a deadline is near-finished.