NEW YORK/ANKARA - It is increasingly unlikely that six world powers and Iran will meet their July 20 deadline to negotiate a long-term deal for Iran to curb its nuclear program in return for an end to economic sanctions, diplomats and analysts say.



In theory, an extension to the high-stakes talks should not be a problem if all sides want it. But President Barack Obama would need to secure Congress' consent at a time of fraught relations between the administration and lawmakers.



Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China included the July 20 deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement in an interim deal they reached in Geneva on Nov. 24.

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