Negotiators from the United States and Iran are in Doha on Tuesday, where indirect talks between the two countries on the Iranian nuclear issue are due to resume this week, after several months of deadlock.
The American envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, met in the morning in Doha with the head of Qatari diplomacy Mohammed ben Abderrahmane al-Thani.
The two men “discussed the strong partnership between the two countries, as well as joint efforts on the Iranian file”, according to a tweet from the United States Embassy in Doha.
In Tehran, the official IRNA agency announced the arrival in Doha of Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri, at the head of a delegation.
Iran and the United States, enemy countries which have not maintained diplomatic relations since 1980, confirmed that they would resume their discussions this week in Qatar but without announcing a specific day.
According to Iranian officials, the talks will focus on “lifting the suffocating US economic sanctions” imposed on Iran.
In 2018, the United States of Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 international agreement providing for limitations on the Iranian nuclear program, and then reinstated American economic sanctions against Iran. In response, the Iranians began to free themselves from their commitments dictated by this pact called JCPOA.
Concluded by Iran on the one hand, Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany on the other, the JCPOA aims to guarantee the civilian character of the nuclear program of the Iran, accused of seeking to acquire atomic weapons despite its denials, in exchange for a gradual lifting of international sanctions.
In April 2021, negotiations were launched in Vienna between Iran and the major powers to reintegrate the United States into the pact and bring Iran back to full compliance with its commitments dictated by the JCPOA.
The Vienna negotiations have been suspended since last March, Americans and Iranians accusing each other of the blockage.
In Qatar, negotiations will resume only between the United States and Iran. As in Vienna, the delegations will be installed in rooms and the European Union (EU) will mediate.
Qatar has better relations with Tehran than most of its Gulf Arab neighbors, and has mediated in several international cases.
The US administration of Joe Biden has said it wants to return to the 2015 agreement, provided that Tehran renews its commitments, but Iran previously demands the lifting of sanctions and guarantees so that Washington no longer withdraws from the JCPOA.
Iran has also called for the removal of the regime’s ideological army, the Revolutionary Guards, from the US list of “terrorist organizations”.