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Nuclear Negotiations With Iran Extended 4 Months

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks Tuesday during his final press conference after talks over Tehran's nuclear program in Vienna. A deal has not been struck in time for the deadline this Sunday, and negotiations will be extended into November.

Iran, the United States and five other countries have agreed to a four-month extension on negotiations toward a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The negotiations had a deadline of July 20. Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement Friday saying that, two days shy of the deadline, there are still "very real gaps on issues such as enrichment capacity at the Natanz enrichment facility." As a result, all seven nations involved have agreed that talks will continue in Vienna until Nov. 24.

The interim agreement governing these talks had allowed for an extension of up to six additional months, but as NPR's Peter Kenyon reported Thursday, both sides of the negotiations would prefer a shorter timeline.

Some sanctions against Iran will continue to be suspended, as they were during the original six months of negotiations, and Iran will have access to $2.8 billion of restricted assets.

Under the terms of the extension, Kerry's statement said, Iran will convert all its 20 percent-enriched uranium reserves into fuel — a step further than the terms of the original negotiation, which called for only half those reserves to be converted, and the other half diluted.

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