A nuclear deal appears to be in sight as negotiations resume.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani coordinated with Washington ahead of his visit to Moscow over the revival of the 2015 nuclear accord, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Sheikh Mohammed had met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on 14 March amidst fears over the impact of Russia’s invasion on talks aimed at restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The talks were stalled after Russia demanded guarantees that its trade with Iran would not be impacted by newly imposed US sanctions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
Lavrov later announced that there are “no obstacles” in restoring the 2015 accord.
“There was coordination with Washington prior to the Qatari foreign minister’s visit to Moscow, especially with regards to the JCPOA discussion,” a source told Reuters.
Sheikh Mohammed also met with his counterparts in Germany and France, both of which are part of the p4+1, which also comprises Russia, China and the UK.
Despite Qatar not being part of the nuclear accord, it has long urged the restoration of the deal and has recently stepped in to play a mediating role between the US and Iran.
A state of mistrust was further triggered between the two countries when former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran.
Talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the historic accord started in April 2021, months after US President Joe Biden came to office. The talks yielded no progress during the first rounds, with the US accusing Iran of not fulfilling its obligations under the accord by increasing its nuclear activities.
In turn, Tehran has demanded the lifting of sanctions imposed by Washington on the country whilst demanding guarantees that it will not withdraw from the deal again.
Officials at the table of negotiations have been releasing more hopeful statements over the accord since the beginning of the year, hinting that they are edging closer to a deal.
A senior official at the talks told The Independent on Saturday that a deal could be reached within 48 hours.
Last week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told his British counterpart Liz Truss over the phone that they were “closer to the point of arriving at a final agreement more than any other time.”
“However, what can turn conclusion of a good and stable agreement into a definite prospect is the United States’ realistic behavior and its refusal from tabling new and wrongful demands,” said Amirabdollahian.