Iran and World Powers to Start Drafting Agreement Next Month

A U.S. official said on Friday that world powers and Iran will start drafting a comprehensive nuclear agreement next month, according to The Associated Press (AP).

According to the report, the official said the sides are making progress in talks. The official was not authorized to speak for attribution and demanded anonymity.

Under a six-month interim deal which was reached between Iran and six world powers in November, the Islamic Republic agreed to freeze its uranium enrichment program in return for sanctions relief, including the transfer of some $4.2 billion in frozen overseas funds.

That interim agreement is meant to lead to a final accord that minimizes any potential Iranian nuclear weapons threat in return for a full lifting of sanctions.

The sides recently held a second round of talks in Vienna on a final agreement, with both sides saying progress had been made but that hard work remained to be done.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that Iran is honoring the agreement thus far. It expires in July and may be extended.

But the U.S. official said the goal is to seal a final pact without the extension.

Negotiators meet again next week in Vienna.

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