The United States and its five international partners, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany—known as the P5+1—are nearing their self-imposed July 20 deadline to reach a final agreement with Iran on the future of the country’s nuclear program. The parties are currently in Vienna, Austria, working out the contours of a comprehensive deal. Diplomats are telling reporters that the two sides remain far apart on key issues and talks to extend the negotiation process have reportedly begun.
The general outline of what the P5+1 and Iran hope to achieve this week was laid out in the Joint Plan of Action, or JPOA—the interim agreement signed in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2013 that froze Iran’s nuclear program and allowed for increased inspections in exchange for modest sanctions relief. The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, has since reported that Tehran has been in full compliance with that interim deal.
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