After blowing through deadline after deadline, a draft deal that would give United Nations inspectors access to all suspected Iranian nuclear sites could be agreed to as early as Tuesday, according to Reuters. A separate report from CNN, which also indicated that officials involved in the discussions are optimistic, said the issue of an arms embargo currently in place on Iran by Western nations is holding back progress on finishing the nuclear talks.
Monday marked the third missed deadline since November 2013, when the negotiations began. The major snags so far are reportedly more political than anything, with the sides disagreeing on exactly what specific language to use to describe Iran in the security resolution.
On Sunday, reports began to resurface that a deal could be reached before Monday. However, citing small differences that needed to be ironed out, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters from his hotel balcony in Vienna that the deals would not conclude before the end of the weekend.
Reuters reported that negotiations were continuing into the early morning hours of Tuesday to try to come to an agreement acceptable to all parties.
Part of the remaining differences to resolve are said to be Iran’s push to eliminate weapons embargoes on the country, including limits on firearms being shipped into the country and for ballistic missiles to be brought into the country. Iran has found an ally in Russia, which supports scaling back the weapons embargo of Iran. The United States is reportedly very resistant to the embargo release.
“Under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking,” said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, last week.
Other Western diplomats said that the majority of differences between the negotiators had been overcome and that minor adjustments were the only remaining roadblock. Other officials indicated that a deal could come as early as Tuesday morning. If a deal is made, the United Nations could vote on the resolution within the month.