Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would need to significantly increase its uranium enrichment capacity, highlighting a gap in positions between Tehran and world powers as they hold talks aimed at clinching a nuclear accord.
Iran and six major powers – the United States, Russia, France, Germany, China and Britain – have less than two weeks to bridge wide differences on the future scope of Iran’s enrichment program and other issues if they are to meet a self-imposed July 20 deadline for a deal.
They resumed talks in Vienna last week and their negotiators continued meetings in the Austrian capital on Tuesday, but there was no immediate sign of any substantive progress.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Paris that none of the major outstanding issues had been agreed and that the United States wanted foreign ministers to join the negotiations.
Iran’s capacity to refine uranium lies at the center of the nuclear stalemate and is seen as the hardest issue to resolve.