06/30/2022, 15.40
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No progress in indirect Doha talks between Tehran and Washington

EU mediation allowed the two delegations to communicate with each other in the capital of Qatar. For the EU, negotiations will continue until the JCPOA, a key agreement, is revived. US blacklisting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is a major stumbling block.

Doha (AsiaNews) – Indirect US-Iranian talks to save the 2015 agreement (JCPOA) about Iran’s nuclear programme, which was scrapped by Donald Trump three years later, ended in Doha (Qatar) without the progress "the EU team as coordinator had hoped-for," EU's envoy Enrique Mora said.

"We will keep working with even greater urgency to bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability," Mora added.

A US State Department spokesperson said in a statement that Iran "failed to respond positively to the EU's initiative and therefore ... no progress was made”.

The EU-mediated, indirect talks started on Tuesday with Mora as the coordinator, shuttling between Iran's Ali Bagheri Kani and Washington's special Iran envoy Rob Malley based in separate rooms in a hotel in Qatar's capital.

Iran refuses to hold direct talks, resulting in "proximity" talks arrangement involving the EU.

According to Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Naser Kanani stressed that Bagheri Kani and Mora “will be in touch about continuing the path and the next stage of the talks”.

In March, a deal seemed to be within reach, but after 11 months of talks in Vienna between Iran and world powers, an agreement still seems far away.

The main stumbling block is Iran’s demand that the US remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from its Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. 

“Iran raised issues wholly unrelated" to the nuclear agreement, the State Department spokesperson said. Tehran “apparently is not ready to make a fundamental decision on whether it wants to revive the deal or bury it,” the spokesperson added.

Iran's Tasnim news agency, affiliated with the IRGC, blamed the Biden administration's “weakness and its inability to make a final decision” for lack of progress in the talks.

“What prevented these negotiations from coming to fruition is the U.S. insistence on its proposed draft text in Vienna that excludes any guarantees for Iran's economic benefit,” the agency stated.

Mohammad Marandi, an advisor to the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, said that the Doha talks on remaining disputes over JCPOA have not failed and negotiations will continue. He noted that two days are not enough to discuss the many open questions.

"We do not take US media statements as serious,” Marandi said. Instead, "The Americans must provide the guarantees that Iran wants to make sure that they do not stab us in the back like in the past”.

"Sanctions must be lifted so that we can re-implement the nuclear deal. Negotiations in Doha did not fail and will continue," he added.

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