US official: Iran talks to push past deadline

US official: Iran talks to push past deadline
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The U.S., Iran and other world powers will push negotiations to limit Tehran’s nuclear ambitions past a June 30 deadline, according to multiple reports.

“Given the dates, and that we have some work to do … the parties are planning to remain in Vienna beyond June 30 to continue working,” a senior U.S. official, who requested anonymity, told reporters, according to Time magazine

British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday that both sides are struggling over details in April’s framework agreement drafted in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to Reuters.

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“There are a number of different areas where we still have major differences of interpretation in detailing what was agreed in Lausanne,” Hammond said.

Reuters reported that another Western official believes Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, caused confusion last week by reversing course on some of the proposed deal’s details.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the meantime, criticized Western diplomats on Sunday for granting Iran more concessions ahead of Tuesday's deadline, according to Haaretz.

“We are now witnessing a stark retreat from the red lines that the world powers set themselves only recently and publicly,” he said at his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Haaretz reported the Israeli leader believes the deal is “getting worse by the day.”

The U.S. hopes Iran will slow or stop its nuclear arms research in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

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Tehran has promised it will allow more frequent nuclear inspections, and caps on its centrifuge and uranium stockpiles as part of the draft accord.

President Obama has long argued that diplomacy is the best means of preventing an Iran armed with nuclear weapons. He has made a lasting deal on Iran’s nuclear energy programs a major goal of his second term.

Netanyahu has countered that Iran threatens Israel’s existence and that it has proven untrustworthy on similar arrangements in the past.

Sunday's development comes just days after the Obama administration accused Iran of “severe restrictions on civil liberties,” “disregard” for people’s physical safety and general abuse of human rights.

The harsh criticism came in an annual report on the status of human rights around the globe.

“Impunity remained pervasive throughout all levels of the government and security forces,” the State Department claimed.

Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Biden campaign releases video to explain 'what really happened in Ukraine' Why Republicans are afraid to call a key witness in the impeachment inquiry MORE (R-Ill.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Democratic senators press Google over privacy of coronavirus screening site Menendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees MORE (D-N.J.) last week pushed a 10-year extension for an Iran sanctions bill.

The two senators, who have been at the forefront of a push to increase sanctions against the Iranian government, want to extend the Iran Sanctions Act, currently set to expire at the end of next year, through 2026.

— Mark Hensch contributed to this report, which was last updated at 2:19 a.m.