WASHINGTON Vast differences between Iran and the international coalition seeking to dismantle the Islamic republic's nuclear program may lead to another short-term deal. And that could renew criticism that Iran is stalling and energize U.S. lawmakers seeking tougher sanctions even if they endanger negotiations.
Such a dilemma awaits the resumption of face-to-face talks set for February. The six-month agreement achieved last November went into effect on Monday. The deal froze key parts of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing some trade and financial penalties.
The agreement includes a provision to renew the short-term accord for a period of time that would have to be agreed to by all parties - Iran as well as the U.S. and it partners.
The talks could crumble if the parties make no progress.