Sunday, August 7, 2022

Report: Nuclear talks to resume this week

Negotiations over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal will resume this week, participants in the talks have confirmed. Qatar will host indirect talks between Iran and the United States, according to reports.

The agreement to return to the table, announced over the weekend by Iran and the European Union, came after a visit to Tehran by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Negotiations over the revival of the Iran nuclear deal, which reached an impasse and were suspended in March, will resume this week, according to participants in the talks, The Washington Post reported.

A State Department official told Al Arabiya English on Monday the US and Iran will resume indirect talks “in the Gulf” later this week.

The official reiterated previous comments by Joe Biden administration officials that the US is ready to conclude negotiations and implement the deal negotiated in Vienna.

A senior Biden administration official stated Sunday that the United States has agreed to attend the new round of talks, which media said will convene in Doha, the Qatari capital.

The previous round of talks between Tehran and the West held in Vienna to remove sanctions on Iran have been stalled since March over what Iran calls “the US’s excessive demands”.

“Iran has chosen Qatar to host the talks because of Doha’s friendly ties with Tehran,” Mohammad Marandi, a media adviser to Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, told the ISNA news agency.

A source briefed on the visit said Monday US Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, was expected to arrive in Doha on Monday and meet with the Qatari foreign minister.

An Iranian official told Reuters that Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, would be in Doha for the talks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Earlier, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, confirmed the resumption of nuclear talks within days and said one of the countries in the Persian Gulf will host the talks.

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he stressed.

In 2018, the US, under President Donald Trump, pulled out of the nuclear  deal and reinstated sanctions under the so-called ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against Tehran, effectively depriving Iran of the deal’s benefits by forcing third parties to stop doing business with Iran.

Iran remained patient for an entire year, after which it began to take incremental steps away from its nuclear obligations, especially after Europeans failed to salvage the deal under the US pressure.

Iranian officials have stressed the ball is in the US’s court and that Washington must make the necessary political decisions.

Iran insists that the nuclear talks must lead to the removal of all American sanctions that were imposed against Tehran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark agreement in May 2018. Tehran has also demanded credible guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.

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