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Iran Nuclear Talks Miss Final Deal Deadline, Agree to Extension

Negotiators in Vienna failed to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program and extended the deadline to July 1, 2015.

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Six days of negotiations in Vienna failed to produce a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program by the Nov. 24 deadline set by last year’s interim deal, but the talks have been extended until July 1, 2015.

The terms of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which was reached last year in Geneva, will remain in force until that date.

A second deadline for a political framework deal has been set by Iran and the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France plus Germany) for March 1, 2015.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hammond told reporters in the Austrian capital today that meetings would resume next month.

We can’t afford to stop now,” said Hammond, according to the Guardian newspaper.

“There will be further meetings in December and our clear target is to reach a headline agreement, an agreement on substance in the next three months or so,” he added.

Iranians will be addressed by President Hassan Rouhani tonight, according to Iranian news reports.

“Extending talks beyond 24 November will not be easy,” said Ali Vaez, the senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, from Vienna. “But it is the least bad option.”

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who has consistently criticized the talks, meanwhile said there was “positive side” to missing the deadline.

But the extension will likely result in more domestic hurdles for the Obama administration from Washington. Writes Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray from Vienna:

In the U.S., Republicans in Congress have made it clear they will try to kill a deal they view as unsatisfactory — and they’ll be empowered to do so when the new Republican-majority Senate comes to town in January. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will become the Senate Majority Leader in January, has said he will hold a vote on an Iran sanctions bill that was prevented from coming to a vote by Democratic leadership earlier this year.

Hardline voices in Tehran will also likely grow louder in the coming months.

Separately the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a UN-monitoring organization, released a report today indicating that Iran continues to implement its commitments under the terms of the JPOA.

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Bret Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times who previously worked at the Wall Street Journal and the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary.


Joe Lieberman, the neoconservative Democrat from Connecticut who retired from the Senate in 2013, co-chairs a foreign policy project at the American Enterprise Institute.


The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney has emerged as the most visible advocate of hardline security policies in the Cheney family.


Former attorney general Edwin Meese, regarded as one of President Ronald Reagan’s closest advisers despite persistent allegations of influence peddling and bribery during his tenure, has been a consummate campaigner on behalf of rightist U.S. foreign and domestic policies. He currently serves as a distinguished visiting fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution.


The Heritage Foundation, a mainstay of the right-wing advocacy community, has long pressured the United States to adopt militaristic U.S. foreign policies


David Addington, who helped author the “torture memos” and other controversial legal documents while serving as an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, left the right-wing Heritage Foundation to become VP and general counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business, a business lobby.


Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), a stalwart advocate of Pentagon spending now based at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, says he would have voted for the Iraq War even if he had known the Bush administration’s claims about WMDs were false.


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