Iran, U.S. To Hold Indirect Talks In Doha After EU Push to Restart Talks On Nuclear Deal
By RFE/RL's Radio Farda June 27, 2022
Indirect talks between Iran and the United States are set to take place on June 28 in Doha, Qatar, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said amid a push by the European Union to break an impasse in negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran said the discussions would be mediated by EU chief negotiator Enrique Mora and no direct talks between Iran and the United States were planned.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, will travel to Doha for the nuclear talks, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Naser Kanani told state news agency IRNA.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on June 27 the talks would focus on the lifting of U.S. sanctions.l
The talks will be separate from broader EU-mediated negotiations that have taken place in Vienna between Iran and major powers.
The U.S. State Department confirmed the meeting and reiterated Iran needed to drop additional demands that go beyond the scope of the pact.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell last week traveled to Tehran in a push to resuscitate negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. EU countries have been forced to find oil suppliers other than Russia as they seek to lower their reliance on Russian energy amid the war in Ukraine.
Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to limits on its controversial nuclear program in exchange for relief from punitive sanctions imposed by the West. But the arrangement began to fall apart in 2018 when then- U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal.
Trump subsequently reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran, while the Iranian government backed away from some of the commitments laid out in the deal.
Iran has been engaged for more than a year in negotiations in Vienna with Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China directly -- and the United States indirectly -- to revive the deal.
Negotiators were reportedly close to a new agreement in March, but the talks abruptly stalled in April, with Tehran and Washington blaming each other for failing to take the necessary political decisions to settle remaining issues.
One of them is Tehran's insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently warned that Iran will be able to produce the raw material for a nuclear bomb within a few weeks. Tehran has repeatedly stressed that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposed.
News of the talks in Qatar came shortly after Iran said it tested a booster rocket designed to send a research satellite into space.
With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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