It is “virtually impossible” that the U.S and negotiating world powers will reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran by the Monday deadline, the the Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday.
A senior official told WSJ:
Our focus remains on taking steps forward an agreement. But it is only natural that just over 24 hours from the deadline, we are discussing a range of options…An extension is one of those options. It should come as no surprise that we are also engaged in a discussion of the options with the Iranians. This does not mean that we are not continuing to discuss the broad range of difficult issues and working to make progress on all the issues that need to be part of a comprehensive agreement.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held direct negotiations on Sunday with the Foreign Minister of the Ayatollah’s Islamic Republic, Javad Zarif, who has no real bargaining power in the matter. Neither does Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as both men respond only to the edicts of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Israeli officials are keeping a watchful eye on the negotiations. They are said to be considering a military strike against Iran should negotiations allow the Islamist regime a path towards nuclear weapons attainment, a high-ranking Israeli government official told the Jerusalem Post on Saturday. The official warned about a proposed ‘sunset clause’ in the final agreement, where Iran would be allowed a path to the bomb.
The official explained, “You’ve not dismantled the infrastructure, you’ve basically tried to put limits that you think are going to be monitored by inspectors and intelligence, and then after this period of time, Iran is basically free to do whatever it wants.”
U.S. President Barack Obama told ABC’s This Week regarding the prospect of striking a deal with the Iranian regimen: “I think that what we’re going to do is take a look at what emerges over the course of the weekend.” Mr. Obama added that he was “confident” he could convince both Congress and the American people that “it’s the right thing to do.”