In this May 24, 2021 file photo, the flag of Iran waves in front of the International Center building with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria. (FLORIAN SCHROETTER / AP)
VIENNA – Negotiators at indirect talks between Iran and the United States have just weeks to reach an agreement on rescuing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, European powers and the talks' coordinator said as negotiations adjourned on Friday for at least 10 days.
The talks have made little discernible progress since they resumed more than two weeks ago for the first time since Iran's hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June.
"We don't have months, we rather have weeks to have an agreement," European Union envoy Enrique Mora told a news conference after a meeting that formally ended the seventh round of talks
The negotiations are "not going well" in that the United States does not yet have a path back into the deal, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in Washington.
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Tehran's envoys have sought changes to the outline of an agreement that had taken shape in six previous rounds of talks, leaving the negotiations largely deadlocked while Western powers warn that time is running out to rein in Iran's fast-advancing nuclear activities.
"We don't have months, we rather have weeks to have an agreement," European Union envoy Enrique Mora told a news conference after a meeting that formally ended the seventh round of talks.
He said he hoped they would resume this year, while some officials have mentioned Dec 27 as a tentative date.
Officials said Iran had requested the break, while Western powers had planned on staying until Tuesday.
Mora and other officials said Iranian demands had been incorporated into the existing text so as to have a common basis for negotiation, but three European powers that are parties to the 2015 deal sounded less optimistic.
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"There has been some technical progress in the last 24 hours, but this only takes us back nearer to where the talks stood in June," negotiators from France, Britain and Germany, the so-called E3, said in a statement, describing the break as "a disappointing pause in negotiations".