UPDATE 2030 GMT: President Rouhani has posted his reaction on Twitter:

UPDATE 1705 GMT: US Secretary of State John Kerry has put a positive spin on the failure to get a resolution in the nuclear talks, saying “real and substantial progress” had been made. However, “We don’t want just any agreement. We want the right agreement.”

Kerry asserted, “The world is safer now than it was a year ago….Today Iran has halted progress on its nuclear program.”

He continued, “At the end of 4 months if no agreement we will reconsider how to proceed.” In the meantime, he asked the US Congress — with a Republican majority in both houses from January — to give the Obama Administration more time for negotiations.

UPDATE 1345 GMT: It looks like US Secretary of State John Kerry has had enough of the nuclear talks:


UPDATE 1325 GMT: Iran and the 5+1 Powers have agreed an extension of interim nuclear arrangements to July 2015 to allow negotiations to continue for a comprehensive agreement.

Iran will maintain limits on its enrichment of 20% uranium during that time, while more of its assets will be unfrozen — by up to $700 million per month, according to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

UPDATE 1135 GMT: Iran and the 5+1 Powers are now in plenary session.

Despite the probable failure to reach agreement, with talks being extended beyond tonight’s deadline, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is laughing.

On the other hand, US Secretary of State John Kerry looks like he would rather be anywhere else than a conference table in Vienna:


UPDATE 1045 GMT: >Reuters is reporting, from “a source close to the talks”, that the process will be extended and discussions will resume on December 15 in Oman.

UPDATE 0930 GMT: Developments this morning in the talks….

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi have arrived, meaning that all of the 5+1 Powers and Iran have their top diplomats in Vienna.

Wang Yi immediately went into bilateral discussions with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and with US Secretary of State Kerry:

Kerry and Zarif had a quick discussion before the Foreign Ministers of the 5+1 Powers convened. The first full plenary session of Iran and the 5+1 is then expected.

It is Deadline Day for the nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers in Vienna, with interim arrangements expiring at midnight.

Sources on both sides indicate that there will be no agreement on key issues, raising the question of whether they will be another extension of last November’s Joint Plan of Action to allow negotiations to continue into 2015.

The JPOA allows some financial relief from sanctions for Iran in return for Tehran’s limits on production of 20% enriched uranium, which could be further enriched for a militarized nuclear program. It was extended in July for four months when several sets of talks could not reach resolution.

A member of the Iranian negotiating team said on Sunday that there was no prospect of agreement on issues such as Iran’s number and level of centrifuges for uranium enrichment, the status of the Fordoo enrichment plant and the Arak heavy-water reactor, and the lifting of US-led sanctions.

An European official echoed, “To reach a comprehensive deal seems physically impossible. Even if we were to get a political agreement, the technical annexes are not ready.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the extension with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a 1-on-1 meeting on Sunday, according to a State Department source.

Both men held a series of bilateral meetings yesterday, before a working dinner with the European members of the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia). Kerry saw Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

The Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers, the only two from the 5+1 Powers who have not been in Vienna, arrive on Monday morning.

(Featured Photo: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif — Ronald Zak/Reuters)