Iran nuclear deal close as talks break off

President Hasan Rouhani's mother passed away yesterday, aged 90

Click to follow

Negotiators for Iran and six world powers broke off nuclear talks ahead of schedule yesterday to allow members of the Iranian delegation to attend the funeral of their president’s mother, as a senior Russian officials suggested that a deal was close.

Sergey Ryabkov said that while some disputes remained, negotiators were expected to “finish their main work” during the current round and even before the talks resumed next week.

The negotiations had been tentatively extended, but the Iranian delegation decided to depart for home to allow negotiators including the Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Hossein Fereydoun, a brother of President Hassan Rouhani, to attend the funeral.

Other officials said yesterday that the US and Iran were drafting elements of a deal that would commit Tehran to a 40 per cent cut in the number of machines it could use to make an atomic bomb. In return, the Iranians would get quick relief from some crippling economic sanctions and a partial lift of a UN embargo on conventional arms.