A frame agreement is hoped for by Tuesday as the foreign ministers of six countries – US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – meet with their Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Switzerland. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is also in attendance.
Hopes that a tentative deal will be reached by Tuesday has sent Brent crude oil prices down to $56.36 per barrel, with WTI crude down at $48.77 by 1:45pm GMT on Monday, Reuters reported.
Although parties appear confident of agreeing a framework deal by Tuesday ahead of a deadline for a comprehensive accord by 30 June, one option is to extend the deadline.
International players are looking for assurances that restrict Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, while Tehran is looking for a lifting of trade sanctions – largely involving its hydrocarbons industry – imposed on it by Western powers. Iran has always contended that its nuclear programme is solely for civilian purposes