Iran

UN nuke agency chief says 'more work' needed on Iran probe

Yukiya Amano, head of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, said his meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani resulted in a "better understanding on some ways forward," but that "more work will be needed."

The formulation of his statement was similar to previous ones issued by the IAEA, which has struggled for nearly a decade to resolve its concerns.

Amano's trip Thursday to Tehran was significant because it represented his last chance to secure access and cooperation before a July 7 deadline for a long-term nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.

Confidential UN report positive on Iran nuclear commitments

Obtained by The Associated Press, the confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report said more than four tons of the enriched uranium had been fed into a pipeline that ends with conversion of it into oxide, which is much less likely to be used to make nuclear arms.

Iran nuclear talks extended; Iranians meet key obligation

That key condition is significantly reducing its stocks of enriched uranium that could be used for atomic weapons.

Iran's failure to comply would have severely undermined the negotiations, which are aimed at curbing the Iranians' nuclear program for a decade in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in relief from international economic sanctions

The State Department announced the extra days of talks only hours before the expiration of the target date for their completion. 

Russian foreign minister to join nuclear talks

He will meet there with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in an attempt to resolve disputes that have forced an extension of the negotiations past the June 30 deadline.

Lavrov is to arrive Tuesday, the day that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returns to Vienna.

As Zarif flew home Sunday for consultations on how to proceed at the talks, a U.S. official confirmed that negotiators will miss a June 30 target date for a deal, aimed at limiting Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Nuke talks near deadline; Iran's foreign minister heads home

Iranian media said Mohammed Javad Zarif's trip was planned in advance. Still, the fact that he was leaving the talks so close to the Tuesday deadline reflected his need to get instructions on how to proceed on issues where the sides remain apart — among them how much access Tehran should give to U.N. experts monitoring his country's compliance to any deal.

The United States insists on more intrusive access than Iran is ready to give. 

Diplomats: Iran considers shipping, selling enriched uranium

     

The Associated Press said this was confirmed by Diplomats.

While Iran says it does not want nuclear arms, it has more than 8 tons that could be turned into the fissile core of a dozen or more atomic bombs if the material was further enriched to weapons-grade levels.

The export-and-sell option has been floated before, and the diplomats emphasized that the sides have not agreed on that solution in the search for what to do with the low-enriched uranium stockpile.

Senior Iranian official: progress slow at nuclear talks

But a senior Iranian official warned that negotiations are hampered by differences not only between Tehran and the six other countries it is bargaining with but internally among the six as well.

Kerry was the first to arrive Friday evening, with diplomats from Iran, Britain, Germany, Russia, France and China expected in the Austrian capital over the coming days.

VIDEO: Iran and UK FMs comment on nuclear issue

Mohammad Javad Zarif held private talks with counterparts from Germany and France, before meeting with a group of EU leaders on the sidelines of a meeting of top EU diplomats in Luxembourg.

Zarif predicted intense and difficult days ahead before the deadline to strike a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who also met with Zarif, said diplomats are "going to pull all the stops out" to reach an agreement by the deadline.