WASHINGTON — The latest round of nuclear arms talks has failed under U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and has led to an extension of the talks to July 2015.
The Washington Post reported the talks appeared to “make encouraging headway,” according to State Department officials, but could not reach a firm agreement in the end.
The new deadline was set hours before the deadline at midnight on Monday, and was only extended after negotiators agreed on “basic principles” of an accord. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, representing Russia at the talks, said, “Substantial progress was made.” He said the basic principles will probably be agreed upon in three-to-four months, and technical details soon after that.
Iran is struggling with the strict sanctions imposed by the West, and the West wants Iran to voluntarily end its nuclear weapons ambitions. Iran says their nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes, but the West is skeptical of those statements.