Israel says Iran nuclear deal unlikely by July 20 deadline

By REUTERS
July 4, 2014 17:21




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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