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Talks due on Iran nuclear programme

Three European powers and the US have confirmed that their foreign ministers will join talks this weekend on Iran’s nuclear programme in an effort to advance stalled negotiations.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is expected to be joined by ministers from France and Germany in Vienna by Sunday. US secretary of state John Kerry is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

But the Itar-Tass news agency reported that their Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, is not due to take part. That could lessen chances of success because Moscow often acts as a bridge between Washington and Tehran at the talks.

The four participants hope to lessen significant disagreements hindering attempts to agree on long-term curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for ending sanctions on Tehran.

If that fails, the two sides could extend their negotiations past a July 20 target date for a deal.

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