A month out from a nuclear deal deadline, the top U.S. and Iranian diplomats are gathering in Geneva this weekend, hoping to bridge differences over how quickly to ease economic sanctions on Tehran and how significantly the Iranians must open up military facilities to international inspections.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif planned to meet Saturday, though their talks are likely to extend into Sunday. Officials are describing the negotiating round as the most substantive since world powers and Iran clinched a framework pact in April.
That agreement, however, left big questions unanswered, which weeks of subsequent technical discussions have done little to resolve.
World powers believe they have secured Iran’s acquiescence to a combination of nuclear restrictions that would fulfill their biggest goal: keeping Iran at least a year away from bomb-making capability for at least a decade. But they are less clear about how they’ll ensure Iran fully adheres to the accord.
Various Iranian officials, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, have publicly vowed to limit access to or even block monitors from sensitive military sites and nuclear scientists suspected of previous involvement in covert nuclear weapons efforts.
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