(JTA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will leave the nuclear talks with six world powers and return to Tehran for discussions, Iranian media reported.
“Zarif will return to Tehran tonight for consultations and exchange of views with top officials,” Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported Friday, citing a member of the Iranian delegation at the Vienna talks.
Western diplomats in Vienna told Reuters Zarif was expected to return to Austria during the weekend. The deadline for a deal is Monday.
The six world powers are negotiating a deal with Iran to exchange sanctions relief for guarantees that it will not obtain a nuclear weapon.
Israel has expressed opposition to any deal that would allow Iran to continue to produce enriched uranium.
Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China began the final round of negotiations on a nuclear deal on Tuesday. Officials close to the talks have told media that the two sides are unlikely to secure a final agreement and may need to extend the negotiations beyond the deadline.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, speaking in Latvia, said earlier this week: “I am not optimistic that we can get everything done by Monday.”
Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday met with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Paris to discuss talks with Iran, the New York Times reported.