US Secretary of State John Kerry left Coburg Palais after his bilateral meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna, Monday, July 14. / JOE KLAMAR AFP/Getty Images
Negotiators for world powers and Iran agreed Friday in Vienna to extend nuclear talks until November over how to limit Iran's disputed nuclear program in exchange for the removal of international sanctions, according to Iran's state-owned IRNA News Agency.
The talks, which were supposed to end Sunday have been extended until late November, IRNA reported. Western media also carried similar reports.
Negotiators from the world's five nuclear powers, United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, plus Germany have been seeking a deal with Iran that would ensure its nuclear program is as peaceful as Iran claims.
Iran seeks the removal of international sanctions meant to force it to comply with the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, explain evidence of past weapons-related activity in its nuclear program, and to abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions requiring Iran to stop producing nuclear fuel.
Negotiators have said they've made progress on some aspects of the negotiations but deadlocked over how long the agreement would last and the size of Iran's nuclear fuel production program during the life of the agreement.
U.S. negotiators seek an agreement that would last at least 10 years and would limit the size of Iran's nuclear fuel production which uses centrifuge machines. They are of concern because the same process can also be used to produce fuel for a bomb that could be fitted to Iran's ballistic missiles, which would be threat to capitals as far away as Europe.
Iran currently has about 20,000 centrifuge machines installed, with about half of them working. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the number of machines operating should be reduced by about half, to lengthen the time period in which Iran could secretly "break out" to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb before Western nations could detect the activity and do something about it.
President Obama has said the USA will not allow Iran to get the bomb. Israel, which Iranian leaders have threatened in the past, has vowed to resort to military force if necessary, if negotiations fail.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week that Iran needs an an industrial-scale program for producing nuclear fuel to supply nuclear reactors. Khamenei said Iran needs the equivalent of 190,000 centrifuge machines for that purpose. The USA and other Western nations, however, say Iran can obtain that fuel from other nations, such as Russia, which has a contract to provide Iran with enriched uranium, like other nuclear nations do.
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