Iran's talks with six global powers on a long-term deal to curb its nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions could be extended for another six months if no deal is reached by a July 20 deadline, a senior Iranian official said on Monday.

The four-month-old round of negotiations ran into difficulty last month with each side accusing the other of making unrealistic demands, sowing doubt about prospects for a breakthrough next month.

Western officials say Iran wants to maintain a uranium enrichment capability far beyond what is suitable for a civilian nuclear energy program. Iran says it wants to avoid reliance on foreign suppliers of fuel for its nuclear reactors and rejects Western allegations it seeks the capability to make nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful energy program.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger