U.S. not considering extending Iran nuclear talks beyond June deadline

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The United States said on Wednesday that it is not contemplating an extension of Iran nuclear talks beyond the June 30 deadline.

The P5+1 countries -- the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany -- are making efforts to reach a final deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program by the deadline, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at a regular briefing.

The remark came after a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, said the talks are likely to be extended beyond the self-imposed deadline.

"We are not bound by time, but by the goal of reaching a good agreement, even if it needs more time," Araqchi said when arriving in Switzerland for a new round of talks with representatives from world powers.

Iran and world powers resumed a new round of negotiations on Wednesday in a bid to finalize an accord on Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

In Washington, Rathke said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday in Switzerland "as part of the ongoing EU-coordinated P5+ 1 nuclear negotiations."

The late June deadline was agreed by the negotiators in November 2014 after a failed attempt to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal as the parties saw huge divide in limiting Iran's uranium enrichment capacity and the steps to lift sanctions that are crippling the Iranian economy. Enditem

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