1012 GMT April 08, 2020
Kerry has been locked in this round of Iran nuclear talks for a longer period than any top American official has devoted to a single international negotiation in more than four decades, Associated Press reported on Friday, IRNA reported.
Kerry's trip to Vienna, now in its 15th day, already eclipses his own record for an overseas voyage and is the most extended stay outside the United States for a secretary of state since George Shultz in 1983. He will equal Shultz's mark on Sunday.
Kerry left Washington June 26 hoping the Iran talks would wrap before a June 30 deal deadline. Since then, negotiators have pushed off the deadline twice and did so for a third time Friday, allowing the negotiations to continue.
What makes the current mission unique in recent history is its singularity of purpose and venue: An agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program for a decade in exchange for tens of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions, AP added.
Not since Henry Kissinger's 34-day Middle East peace odyssey in 1974 has the top US diplomat devoted so many days abroad to one particular foreign policy objective.
Foreign ministers from Iran and six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) are negotiating feverishly to seal a nuclear accord over the weekend.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif anticipates the nuclear negotiations to continue over the next couple of days amid intense efforts to land a deal.
Speaking from the balcony of his hotel room in Vienna on Friday, Zarif told the press he expects the talks to last over the weekend.
Asked specifically, if there could be a deal on Friday, he replied, 'I doubt it.'
The Iranian minister reiterated that the most important issues had yet to be resolved.
He added the issues could be settled by Monday, if there is a political will.