Qatar encourages positive talks in US-Iran nuclear talks nuclear weapons news

The Qatari Foreign Minister calls for the reduction of tensions with Tehran, for dialogue between Iran and the GCC countries.

Qatar calls on the United States and Iran to engage in “positive” talks as negotiators are poised to enter a potentially decisive fourth round of indirect talks in an attempt to revive the Iran nuclear deal.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Qatar was urging a reduction in tensions between Washington and Tehran as diplomats from both sides met separately on Friday in Vienna with European, Russian and Chinese representatives to find a way to revive the Iran nuclear deal.

“We have strong and strategic relations with Washington and we have good relations with Tehran and we do not want to increase the tension, which will have a negative effect on Qatar and the region,” Foreign Minister Al Thani said. .

“There are continued calls with the United States and Iran and encouragement for them to engage in discussions in a positive way,” Al Thani told Al Jazeera in an interview.

In Washington, a senior US State Department official on Thursday said a an agreement could be found within a few weeks on track for Washington and Tehran to resume compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if Iran makes a political decision to do so.

“Is it possible that we will see a mutual return to compliance in the coming weeks, or an understanding of mutual compliance?” It is possible, yes, ”the official told reporters on condition of anonymity during a telephone briefing.

Reached in 2015, the United Nations-backed agreement committed Iran to curtail its nuclear program and refrain from developing fissile material for a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from punitive economic sanctions.

Former President Donald Trump abandoned the agreement in 2018 and reinstated US sanctions, even if Iran abided by the terms of the deal.

About a year later, Iran began enriching uranium using more sophisticated centrifuges, which alarmed its Arab neighbors.

“There are mutual fears between the GCC countries and Iran and there needs to be direct dialogue to address these fears,” said Al Thani, who led a high level delegation in Tehran in February to discuss the nuclear deal and tensions between Iran and its Arab rivals.

Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned last month that an offer by the Gulf Cooperation Council to have its concerns about Iran’s nuclear program reflected in any revived version of the 2015 deal would derail talks in Vienna.

“Their purpose in evoking such statements is not to ask for participation but to disrupt the process of technical talks in Vienna,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

Saudi Arabia opposed the Iran nuclear deal and in 2017 severed ties with Qatar, which has good relations with Tehran, and attempted to impose a blockade.

In January, Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states announced the end of actions against Qatar. Saudi Arabia and Iran recently had talks in Iraq in a diplomatic effort to open channels and reduce hostilities.

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