The Vienna talks this week, involving US secretary of state John Kerry, came unstuck because the Western position suddenly hardened at the last hour, according to the British Guardian. Only last week, Russian officials expressed cautious optimism that a breakthrough could be attained.
After a full year of tortuous negotiations, the P5+1 group and Iran have now extended the nuclear talks for another six months. The move comes after foreign ministers from the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran failed this week to conclude a final deal in Vienna on the long-running nuclear dispute.
Despite having secured an interim deal last November, which gave a partial lifting of international sanctions to Iran in return for Iranian self-imposed restrictions on its nuclear programme, the group of world powers could not in the end come up with a final accord on the deadline set for November 24 this week.