EXCLUSIVE – Chances of Iran nuclear deal worsen after talks in Doha

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Iran and U.S. flags

“The prospects for reaching an agreement after Doha are worse than they were before Doha, and they are getting worse day by day,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.

He added, “You can describe Doha as water-walking at best, backwards at worst. But at the moment, water-backward movement is retreating in practically all respects.”

The official declined to comment on the details of the Doha talks, in which EU officials have cycled back and forth between the two sides in an effort to negotiate the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement, under which Iran’s nuclear program is. In exchange for easing and reviving economic sanctions.

Then US President Donald Trump denied the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough US sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to start violating nuclear restrictions about a year later.

“Their vague demands, the reopening of settled issues, and requests that are clearly unrelated to the JCPOA make us all suspect… that the real discussion that should take place (and not) between Iran and the United States is to resolve the remaining differences between Iran and the United States.” and Iran to resolve the fundamental question of whether they are interested in a mutual return to the JCPOA,” the senior US official said.

“At the moment, we are not sure if they (the Iranians) know what they want otherwise. They did not come to Doha with many details,” he added. “Most of what they published knew – or should have known – that it is outside the scope of the JCPOA and therefore completely unmarketable to us and to Europeans, or that the issues that were so thoroughly discussed and discussed in Vienna were resolved and which we obviously will not bring up again. other”.

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Speaking before the United Nations Security Council, US, British and French diplomats blamed Iran for failing to reopen the agreement after more than a year of negotiations.

But Iran described the Doha talks as positive, and accused the United States of failing to provide guarantees that the new US administration would not abandon the deal again, as Trump did.

Iran’s ambassador to Iran said: “Iran has requested objective and verifiable assurances from the United States that the JCPOA will not be torpedoed again, that the United States will not violate its obligations again, and that sanctions will not be imposed under any other pretext or designation.” . United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi against the Council.

The senior US official said that Washington had made clear since the talks began in April 2021 that it could not give Iran legal guarantees that the future US administration would abide by the agreement.

“We said there was no legal way in which we could oblige a future government, so we looked for other ways to give Iran any kind of relief and… I think this file is closed.”

Iran made the original agreement with Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, a group called P5+1.

US and Iranian officials said the ball was in the other side’s court.

The senior US official questioned Tehran’s argument that Washington was to blame for the lack of progress, saying the US had responded positively to the EU-proposed changes to the draft text of the agreement reached during expanded talks in March. While Iran did not respond to that. those proposals.

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He said that if the agreement is not revived, the Iranian leadership will have to explain why it is turning its back on the merits of the agreement on issues that will not make a positive difference in the life of any single ordinary Iranian.

The US official did not give details on those issues. Restoring the agreement would allow Iran to legally export its oil – the lifeblood of its economy.

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