Indirect talks between Iran and US continue in Doha

Iran’s deputy foreign minister and top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani leads delegation to the Qatari capital

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a meeting in Tehran, Iran,  June 23, 2022. File photo / AP
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Indirect talks between Iran and the United States to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have not yet ended, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.

Earlier today, the semi-official Tasnim news agency cited informed sources saying that indirect talks between Tehran and Washington ended in Doha without results.

"The two-days talks are not over yet and this afternoon another meeting will take place between Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, and the EU's envoy, Enrique Mora," Nasser Kanani said.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister and top negotiator, Mr Bagheri Kani, led a delegation to the Qatari capital of Doha on Tuesday before indirect talks between Tehran and the US aimed at reviving a landmark nuclear deal.

“The Doha meeting had little impact on the progress of negotiations because of the weakness of the Biden administration and the inability to make a final decision,” Tasnim reported.

It said Mr Bagheri Kani met EU official Enrique Mora, who has acted as an intermediary between the US and Iran during a year of on-off negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the pact.

Tasnim said the American position did not include “a guarantee for Iran benefiting economically from the deal”, quoting what it described as unnamed “informed sources”.

“Washington is seeking to revive [the deal] in order to limit Iran without economic achievement for our country,” the Tasnim report stated.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, right, meeting the EU's nuclear talks co-ordinator Enrique Mora in Doha on Tuesday. AFP

A US State Department spokesperson said indirect discussions continue, but did not give further updates.

"As we and our European allies have made clear, we are prepared to immediately conclude and implement the deal we negotiated in Vienna for mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA [the previous nuclear deal]. But for that, Iran needs to decide to drop their additional demands that go beyond the JCPOA," the spokesperson said.

The European Union, which is mediating the talks in Qatar, did not immediately comment.

However, the Tasnim news agency, believed to be close to Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, described the negotiations as finished, and having “no effect on breaking the deadlock in the talks”.

The 2015 nuclear deal has been hanging by a thread since 2018, when former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it and began to reimpose economic sanctions on key sectors of Iran's economy.

Talks in Vienna about reviving the deal have been paused since March. Since the deal’s collapse, Iran has been running advanced centrifuges and rapidly growing stockpiles of enriched uranium.

Updated: June 29, 2022, 3:26 PM
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