Qatar has been mediating between the US and Iran in a bid to restore the 2015 nuclear accord.
The first Qatar and Iran joint political committee meeting is taking place in Tehran on Tuesday, the Islamic Republic’s Ambassador to Doha Hamid Reza Dehghani announced on Twitter.
The committee was formed following the signing of an agreement between Doha and Tehran during Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Qatar in February this year. A total of 14 agreements were signed at the time in numerous fields including education, trade, visa cancellation amongst others.
The visit came following several mutual meetings between officials from Qatar and Iran in both countries.
According to Dehghani, the latest meeting is going to be chaired by the Secretary-General of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Hassan Al Hammadi and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani.
The Amir’s visit
There have been no details on the agenda of the meeting, which takes place days ahead of the visit of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Iran, the first since Raisi came to office.
“The visit of the Amir of Qatar to Tehran is on the agenda and includes bilateral, regional and international issues. After this trip, Iran’s President will travel to a Gulf country,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly press briefing on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.
Sheikh Tamim’s previous visit was in 2020, at the height of tensions between Iran and the US after the latter assassinated senior Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack.
The Qatari leader had met then-President Hassan Rouhani in an effort to de-escalate the situation. Sheikh Tamim told a press conference at the time that dialogue was the only solution.
More recently, the heavyweight mediator has been mediating between the US and Iran upon the two countries’ request in a bid to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Indirect talks between the US and Iran aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear accord started in April last year. The negotiations were attended by Western powers from the p4+1, which include; the UK, France, China, Russia, plus Germany.
The US had reimposed sanctions on Iran when it unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 under the former Donald Trump administration. The withdrawal came as Trump vowed to exert “maximum pressure” on Iran.
Despite unilaterally stepping out of the accord, Washington accused Tehran of breaching the JCPOA, accusing it of ramping up its nuclear activities. The two countries have appeared to be edging closer to an agreement since the start of the year.
An apparent stalemate occurred this year when Tehran insisted on removing its paramilitary group, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, from Washington’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Claims over a stalemate were denied by Khatibzadeh during the latest press briefing.
“A text has been agreed upon between Iran and P4+1. Washington is not to present a gift to Iran. It should give Iran’s rights back. I won’t use the word ‘stalemate’ for the Vienna talks,” noted Khatibzadeh.
A source had told Reuters on Sunday that Sheikh Tamim will be visiting Germany, the UK and other European states after traveling to Iran to discuss efforts to restore the JCPOA.
The source also said that Sheikh Tamim’s visit seeks to bringing all parties of the nuclear accord to a “new middle ground.”