Britain 'not optimistic' on Iran nuclear talks

Police in Vienna stand outside the Palais Coburg in October, where the so-called EU 5+1 talks with Iran began on November 18, 2014Britain expressed doubts Wednesday that a nuclear deal could be reached with Iran by a looming deadline, as Tehran and six world powers haggled in a final round of talks in Vienna. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, speaking in Latvia, indicated the most to be hoped for was enough progress to justify putting yet more time on the clock beyond Monday’s cut-off point to get a deal. Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany been negotiating since February to turn an interim accord with Iran reached a year ago into a lasting agreement before November 24. Such a deal is aimed at easing fears that Tehran might develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian activities — an ambition it denies.

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