European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wait for the begin of talks in Vienna, June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
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Any thaw in relations between Iran and the United States under the pressure of Iraq's turmoil is unlikely to hasten progress in difficult negotiations seeking limits on Tehran's nuclear program.Recent high-level U.S.-Iran talks that were meant to pave the way to a final nuclear deal only highlighted the two nations' huge differences, say two diplomats, further diminishing expectations that a July 20 target date for agreement will be met. The nuclear talks, a senior State Department official said, are "its own process".Iran insists it has no interest in such arms.The U.S. demands that Iran run no more than a few hundred centrifuges dismantle all on standby and agree to tight limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile.Washington and its allies suspect Iran worked secretly on nuclear arms -- something Tehran denies.Iran wants just 15 years, with controls gradually easing a few years after they were imposed.
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