While Qatar is not playing a mediating role between US and Iran, it has been calling for the restoration of the nuclear deal.
US Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley is travelling to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between 15-21 October to discuss the stalled talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.
“We will be prepared to adjust to a different reality in which we have to deal with all options to address Iran’s nuclear programme if it’s not prepared to come back into the constraints of [the nuclear deal],” said Malley in a virtual interview with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Wednesday.
The Iran nuclear deal has been among the most important files in Qatar’s foreign policy, with the Gulf state continuously reiterating the importance of returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] following the US withdrawal in 2018.
“We are going to provide any assistance or support needed by the parties. We are talking and engaging with Iran, encouraging them to go back to the deal,” said Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani at fourth annual Global Security Forum in Doha.
Malley previously met with Sheikh Mohammed in September where the two diplomats discussed key regional developments.
— Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley (@USEnvoyIran) September 22, 2021
During the virtual interview, Malley noted that President Joe Biden will be focusing on other options if the talks fail.
This came after US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said last week in a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata that “if diplomacy fails, the United States is prepared to turn to other options”.
Iran and the US have also been exchanging blame over the willingness to return to negotiations, with the former demanding that Washington lifts its sanctions on Tehran in order to resume talks.
The UN nuclear watchdog said Iran had failed to honour the terms of the deal and failed to allow inspectors to service monitoring equipment on the site.
The EU coordinator on Iran Enrique Mora is visiting Iran on Thursday amid concerns over its nuclear activity.
“Travelling to Tehran where I will meet my counterpart at a critical point in time. As coordinator of the JCPOA, I will raise the urgency to resume JCPOA negotiations in Vienna. Crucial to pick up talks from where we left last June to continue diplomatic work,” said Mora.