Iran, EU Hold Nuclear Talks as June 30 Deadline Nears

June 22, 2015 Updated: June 22, 2015
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LUXEMBOURG—Iran’s foreign minister and European Union counterparts are holding talks in an effort to reach a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program before a June 30 deadline.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif is holding private talks with counterparts from Germany and France, before meeting with a group of EU leaders on the sidelines of a meeting on Monday of top EU diplomats in Luxembourg.

Speaking to Iranian state TV, Zarif said all sides in the nuclear talks should avoid “excessive” demands. He noted differences on both technical and political issues.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France, which has been one of the most cautious countries about a possible deal, said his country wanted a “robust” agreement with Iran.

“What does that mean? That means an extensive regime of verification, including if necessary, military sites and it means that it is necessary to foresee an automatic return to sanctions in case Iran violates its commitments,” Fabius said in a brief statement after his hour-long meeting with Zarif.

Iran and six nations — the U.S., Russia, China and EU members Britain, France and Germany — are facing the self-imposed deadline in talks aimed to place curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.