LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are in their final day of talks before a midnight deadline for a framework agreement to impose limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Negotiations have intensified as the self-imposed deadline looms for the outline of a deal to end a 12-year standoff over Iranian activities that Western countries fear are aimed at developing nuclear weapons capability — a charge Tehran denies.
The political framework agreement, if achieved, is to pave the way for a full deal by June 30.
The senior diplomats from the United States, China, Britain, France, and Germany met among themselves early on March 31 and then met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov flew back to Moscow on March 30, but he announced on March 31 that he was returning to Lausanne and said the prospects for success are “not bad — I would even say good.”
“Chances are high,” he added. “They are probably not absolute and there is never absolute certainty in anything.”
“But these chances are quite realistic if none of the participants at the talks raise the stakes at the last moment in the hope of winning something extra at the end of the final act instead of seeking to maintain the balance of interests.”