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Qatar steps in to hold informal nuclear talks between Iran and US: Reports

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According to a Reuters report citing Iranian media, Qatar will now host indirect talks between Iran and the US to break the months-long impasse in negotiations to re-establish the 2015 nuclear deal.

According to a source briefed on the trip, Robert Malley, the United States’ special envoy for Iran, was scheduled to meet with Qatar’s foreign minister on Monday. Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, will arrive in Doha for the discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday, as per an Iranian official. “Iran has chosen Qatar to host the talks because of Doha’s friendly ties with Tehran,” said Mohammad Marandi, a media assistant to Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator. Marandi was speaking with the news agency ISNA.

After 11 months of indirect negotiations between Tehran and the administration of US President Joe Biden, the pact appeared to be nearing completion in March. However, the talks have stalled since then, owing to Tehran’s insistence that Washington removes the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite security force, from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, stated on Monday that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

According to a Reuters report from last week, an Iranian official and a European official told the news agency that Iran has dropped its demand for the FTO restrictions on the IRGC to be lifted. However, two issues needed to be addressed, one of which was related to sanctions.

The 2015 nuclear agreement, in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, limited Iran’s nuclear activities. When then-President Donald Trump reimposed strict economic sanctions on Iran, the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

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