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1 Jul, 2022 01:54

Iran nuclear talks end without progress

An EU mediator said Tehran and Washington failed to resolve outstanding issues during negotiations in Qatar
Iran nuclear talks end without progress

The latest round of talks held to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and a group of major world powers has ended with little headway being made, officials have said. Both sides blame one another for the stalled negotiations. 

European Union mediator Enrique Mora concluded two days of “intense” talks in the Qatari capital on Wednesday, stating that the United States and Iran had failed to make “the progress the EU team… had hoped-for.” He nonetheless said the delegations would “keep working with even greater urgency” to renew the nuclear agreement, despite months of heated negotiations yielding few results.

Speaking to Axios, an unnamed senior US representative insisted Tehran was at fault for prolonging the talks, accusing its negotiators of raising “old issues that have been settled for months,” as well as “new issues that are unrelated to the 2015 nuclear agreement.”

“If there is a side that needs to take a decision, it’s them – and it’s been them for months,” the official claimed, adding that while “A deal has been available for some time,” Iranian officials “have not demonstrated any sense of urgency.”

According to a spokesperson from the Iranian Foreign Ministry cited by Tasnim News, Mora will continue to speak with Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani about how to proceed with the nuclear talks, which have been held in Vienna, Austria and Doha, Qatar since US President Joe Biden took office. 

Tasnim, a semi-official outlet, also reported that no progress was made in Qatar, but instead blamed the US side for refusing to offer “guarantees for Iran's economic benefits” linked to the nuclear agreement, also claiming the lagging negotiations were caused by the “weakness of the Biden administration.”

First signed in 2015 and formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal was meant to impose strict safeguards on Iran’s nuclear energy program in exchange for sanctions relief from the West. While the United Nations nuclear watchdog repeatedly confirmed that Tehran was keeping to the agreement for years after it was struck, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the pact in 2018 and reimposed all prior American sanctions. Iran has responded by gradually scaling back its own commitments under the JCPOA, insisting it will return to full compliance only after the US penalties are dropped.

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