Iran Blames U.S. for Delays on Nuclear Deal

People attending demonstrations for Qds Day, or Jerusalem Day, in Tehran on Friday. Credit Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

People attending demonstrations for Qds Day, or Jerusalem Day, in Tehran on Friday. Credit Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

TEHRAN — As nuclear negotiations in Vienna grind on through deadline after deadline, Iranian officials have begun a public campaign to blame the United States in the event that the talks fail.

Iran’s public diplomacy has long been geared toward selling a possible deal to hard-liners at home. But as an interim agreement between Iran and the West was extended on Friday to give negotiators more time, the government seemed to recognize the need to prove to ordinary Iranians that it had done all it could to obtain a final agreement and the lifting of economic sanctions.

“Such people may ask those in charge of the negotiations, ‘Why have you not compromised more?’ ” said Farshad Ghorbanpour, an analyst who is close to the government of President Hassan Rouhani. “Many of them seem to want a deal and are much less interested in what Iran needs to compromise.”

That could explain why, after a flurry of Iranian statements in recent weeks promising that a deal was well within reach, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s lead negotiator, told Iranian reporters on Friday, “The most important issues are not resolved.”

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