Israel does not expect world powers to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran by a late July deadline, a government minister said on Friday, accusing Tehran of maintaining a "hard line" at talks under way in Vienna.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke on the second day of what could be the final round of talks aimed at ending a decade-old international dispute over Iran's nuclear program that Israel sees as a threat to its existence.
Asked whether he believed there would be a deal in less than three weeks, Steinitz told Reuters in Jerusalem: "My estimate is that there will not be. I think the Iranians came with a very hard line."
"The Iranians came without willingness to compromise but with a desire to exploit this stage to soften and improve the opening positions of the other side," he said.
Steinitz led a high-level Israeli delegation to Washington on Monday, meeting US negotiators Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
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