The US State Department has renewed its readiness to engage in direct talks with Iran regarding the nuclear agreement, in return, Tehran called on Washington to take practical and tangible steps to rebuild confidence.
This comes as the French news agency revealed Qatari efforts to help revive the nuclear agreement.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price stressed that direct negotiations help avoid misunderstanding and increase the progress that has been achieved so far in the ongoing negotiations with Tehran in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
“There are very technical and complex issues, and we are not currently participating in direct talks because Iran has not yet agreed to hold these talks, but once again we are ready to meet directly,” he said.
In turn, the US coordinator for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, announced – yesterday, Thursday – that Washington sees a good opportunity to reach an agreement with Iran regarding a return to the nuclear agreement, but it is ready for any development.
McGurk said during an event for the “Carnegie Endowment for International Peace”, that the United States and Iran are on the verge of returning to the nuclear agreement, explaining that at the same time he would not bet on this.
On Thursday, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations, Mikhail Ulyanov, expressed optimism about the pace of negotiations in Vienna, expecting to reach an agreement at the end of next February.
In an interview with Russia 24, Ulyanov announced that direct contacts on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the United States could be held soon.
He pointed out that the full resumption of the nuclear agreement requires another two months related to the lifting of sanctions and Tehran’s return to its commitments in the agreement.
And the French news agency quoted a Qatari government official as saying that “Doha is trying to help revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the official name of the 2015 nuclear deal that was later disrupted after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018.
He added that this matter will be discussed between the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and US President Joe Biden in Washington next Monday.
On Thursday, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani held talks on a number of regional issues and bilateral cooperation with a number of Iranian officials in the capital, Tehran.
The Qatari Foreign Minister said – in a tweet on Twitter – that he assured his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Amir Abdullahian, the constants of Qatari policy based on good neighborliness and constructive dialogue, especially in circumstances that require building bridges to reach a political dialogue aimed at achieving the desired stability in the region, as he put it. .
A statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry stated that Abdullahian discussed – during his meeting with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani in Tehran yesterday – a number of regional and international issues.
For his part, the Iranian Foreign Minister, in a call with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, confirmed that the Vienna negotiations are proceeding positively, but at the same time stressed that Tehran does not trust Washington.
Abdullahian added, “History, experience, and American behavior have shown that American politicians and rulers cannot be trusted.”
The Iranian foreign minister stressed the need for Washington and the West to take verifiable measures to reach a trustworthy agreement.
Regarding the lifting of sanctions, Abdullahian stressed that Iran’s full interests must be achieved and made tangible on the ground.
The talks began in Vienna last April, and resumed in late November, after being suspended for five months.
Tehran is in talks with the powers that are still in the agreement, namely France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, with the diplomats of these countries – as well as the European Union – coordinating between the Iranian and American negotiators.
Iran has previously refused to have its negotiators sit at the same table with the American negotiators, given that Washington is no longer a party to the nuclear agreement, and its return to the negotiating table with others requires its return to the agreement.