The one week extension of the Iran nuclear talks from June 30 to July 7 has come and gone, and today officials say that the talks have been extended once again, this time until Friday. Officials continue to describe the final nuclear deal as “close.”
The fact that the extension is just a few days underscores optimism among negotiators, and also that the White House wants to be able to finalize the deal and be able to present them to Congress by July 9, the day the Congressional review period goes from 30 days to 60 days.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who has been heading the negotiations in recent days, says that the talks remain in a “difficult and sensitive phase,” though neither she nor anyone else indicated what the actual problems are.
Iranian officials shrugged off the previous deadline as artificial, and say the new one is as well, insisting the deadlines were never Iran’s idea in the first place. All the indications are that the deadlines are purely imposed by the US, and that talks will continue if the deal isn’t reached by week’s end, irrespective of US threats to “walk away.”