Grim outlook for Iranian nuclear deal, sources say

Ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna between the P5+1 powers and Iran have faltered in recent weeks as the deadline agreed upon last November rapidly approaches. British Foreign Minister William Hague made a public statement that expressed concern about the gulf of differences that remain on any potential agreement, saying that any deal was far from certain and that no extension of the deadline should be considered. The other powers (US, Russia, China, France, and Germany) have yet to comment on any specific framework, opting for a comprehensive agreement that addresses all Western concerns and alleviates sanctions for Iran without the need for further negotiations.

The deadline is July 20. Negotiations have entered into their sixth round as of last week, with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton officially presiding over the negotiations. The main sticking point, as always, remains the enrichment of uranium to weapons-grade levels, which Iran insists is not the aim of its program. The P5+1 powers want assurances in the form of destroyed and dismantled centrifuges and international oversight.

The media has been focusing on a potential West-Iran partnership on Iraq, which has been invaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and has been a major cause for concern for American spectators in particular but has also demonstrated how Iran and Western powers could work together on issues of mutual interest.

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