U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Iranian counterpart Monday in New York for the first time since Kerry announced a deal four weeks ago to move forward on a comprehensive agreement to curtail Iran's nuclear program.
A senior State Department official, speaking Sunday, said the meeting between Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will take place on the sidelines of the 2015 conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the United Nations.
Negotiators face a June 30 deadline for a final deal to curb Tehran's nuclear activities and ensure it is not building nuclear weapons, in exchange for lifting Western sanctions that have hurt the Iranian economy.
Earlier this month when Kerry announced a framework deal, he said envoys had agreed on "the most challenging and over-arching issues" facing negotiators in the six-party talks with Tehran. But he also acknowledged that decisions on some technical and policy issues had not yet been reached.
They were believed to include a timetable for lifting Western sanctions and precise rules guaranteeing Western inspectors access to Iranian nuclear sites to ensure Iran's compliance.
Negotiators from Britain, France, Russia, the United States, Germany and China worked two days past a self-imposed deadline at the end of March to reach the preliminary deal with Tehran to advance the talks. Many analysts predict a similar scenario of marathon talks as the June 30 deadline draws near.