VIENNA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are working on new proposals aimed at breaking the deadlock in nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, sources close to the talks said on Friday.
The sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the top Iranian and U.S. diplomats were preparing ideas that could be shown to both countries’ capitals. No details on the ideas were immediately available.
“Discussions are continuing,” said a senior U.S. official, who declined to discuss details about the negotiations.
One source said it was too early to say whether this latest joint effort indicated an actual narrowing of the wide differences between Iran and the powers. Iran rejects Western allegations that it has been seeking to develop a nuclear bomb capability.
The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China began a final round of talks with Iran on Tuesday, looking to clinch a pact under which Tehran would curb its nuclear work in exchange for a lifting of economically crippling sanctions.
But officials close to the negotiations in Vienna said at mid-week the two sides remained deadlocked on key issues, were unlikely to secure a definitive accord by Nov. 24, and might need to extend the deadline.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier on Friday in Vienna: “These are complex issues and there are still significant gaps between the parties. We’re all going away to have technical discussions with our experts and we’ll resume again over the ... weekend.”
Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; editing by Fredrik Dahl