Deadline nears as Kerry, Iran seek deal

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Secretary of State John Kerry will try again Monday to reach a deal with Iran's foreign mininster regarding Tehran's nuclear program, the second day of talks in Vienna.

No breakthrough was made Sunday, according to reports, as the July 20 deadline for an agreement inches closer.

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An interim deal was hashed out last year between Iran, the United States and five other countries that lifted some U.S. sanctions in exchange for Iran taking steps aimed at limiting its nuclear program.

"We're working, we're working, we just got here," Kerry told reporters Sunday about the talks. 

Kerry and British Foreign Minister William Hague stayed in Vienna Monday to continue discussions with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. France and Germany's representatives departed Sunday. 

The interim agreement allowed for an extension if no deal is made by next Sunday. 

Noting the deep differences between parties, Iranian's deputy foreign minister said there "is not much willingness" for a full extension of six additional months, according to The Associated Press.

But a shorter extension is possible.

Before the talks, a State Department official said an extension would likely only happen if significant progress were made. 

"It would be hard to contemplate things like an extension without seeing significant progress on key issues," the official said over the weekend. "And that’s what we’re going to be looking for here over the next few days. We’re going to be trying to get to a comprehensive agreement, and then we’ll think about everything else as we go forward."

Meanwhile, in a letter to President Obama last week, members of Congress have demanded the administration keep them in the loop. Any lifting of sanctions will require congressional approval, they wrote. 

The administration has said it is committed to lifting nuclear-related sanctions as part of the deal, but the congressmen point out that most U.S. sanctions are intertwined with Iran’s other actions. 

Those include its ballistic missile program, its nonconventional weapons program and its support for international terrorism, according to the letter signed by 344 congressmen.