Iran

Iran talks hit final stage but deal remains elusive

The diplomats said at least two other issues still needed final agreement: Iranian demands that a U.N. arms embargo be lifted and that any U.N. Security Council resolution approving the nuclear deal no longer describe Iran's nuclear activities as illegal. 

They demanded anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly.

McConnell: Iran deal will be 'hard sell' in Congress

They predicted President Barack Obama could face hurdles in Congress if negotiators reach a final deal.

McConnell spoke minutes after diplomats said on Sunday that negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks were expected to reach a provisional agreement to curb the country's atomic program in return for tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry has been leading the U.S. delegation in the talks in Vienna, which aims to impose long-term, verifiable limits on Tehran's nuclear programs.

Diplomats: Iran announcement planned Monday

The envoys said a provisional agreement may be reached even earlier — by late Sunday. But they cautioned that final details of the pact were still being worked out and a formal agreement must still be reviewed by leaders in the capitals of Iran and the six world powers at the talks.

Senior U.S. and Iranian officials suggested, however, there was not enough time to reach a provisional deal by the end of Sunday.

All of the officials, who are at the talks, demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly.

Breaking: Iran nuke deal expected Sunday - Diplomats

The two diplomats cautioned that final details of the pact were still being worked out Sunday afternoon and a formal agreement still awaits a review from the capitals of the seven nations at the talks. They said plans now are for the deal to be announced on Monday.

The diplomats, who are at the talks, demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly.

Iran's leader calls for continued anti-US struggle

The negotiations entered their 15th day Saturday with no indications of major progress after three extensions and four target dates for a deal, and diplomats said it remained unclear whether an agreement could be reached by Monday, the latest deadline.

Iran and the U.S. have threatened to walk away unless the other side makes concessions. Although it was unclear whether Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was preparing the ground for the failure of the talks, his comments were likely to add to skepticism over the outcome at the negotiating table.

Nuclear talks: Kerry setting records with long Vienna stay

With no agreement in sight, he may stay longer.

Kerry's trip to Vienna, now in its 15th day, already eclipses his own record for an overseas voyage and is the most extended stay outside the United States for a secretary of state since George Shultz in 1983. He will equal Shultz's mark on Sunday.

Kerry left Washington June 26 hoping the Iran talks would wrap before a June 30 deal deadline. Since then, negotiators have pushed off the deadline twice and did so for a third time Friday, allowing the negotiations to continue.

Nuke deal remains elusive after deadline, but talks continue

"We knew it would have been difficult, challenging, and sometimes hard," said Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief. Negotiations, she said, will continue for the next couple of days despite hitting some "tense" moments.

As the latest target date arrived for a deal setting a decade of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other top diplomats huddled in Vienna in search of a breakthrough. 

Iran pushes for end to arms embargo in nuke deal

Speaking on the eve of a belated target date for a complete agreement, a senior Iranian official said his country and the six world powers it is negotiating with are also working on a U.N. resolution that endorses any future nuclear deal.

Lifting the arms embargo would be separate from a long-term accord that foresees limits on Iran's nuclear programs in exchange for relief from crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic. 

Tentative agreement on Iran sanctions relief

Diplomats confirmed the new development to the Associated Press on Saturday.

The annex, one of five meant to accompany the agreement, outlines which U.S. and international sanctions will be lifted and how quickly. 

Diplomats said senior officials of the seven-nation talks, which include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, still had to sign off on the package.

Iran to US: Nuke deal could result in joint cooperation

Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested a deal acceptable to his country will open the door to cooperation on fighting the upsurge of Middle East extremism threatening both nations' interests.

Zarif did not mention the United States by name in his video message. 

But with the Iran six-power talks having devolved essentially into bilateral U.S.-Iran negotiations over the past year, his comments were clearly directed at the Americans, who have been the primary drivers of the crippling economic sanctions imposed on his country over its nuclear program.