Iran-U.S. Nuke Talks End, No Progress 06/30 06:22
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Indirect negotiations between Iran and
the U.S. over Tehran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers ended Wednesday
in Qatar after failing to make significant progress amid a growing crisis over
the Islamic Republic's atomic program, diplomats said.
The Doha talks broke up after two days without any sign of a breakthrough,
months after talks in Vienna among all of the deal's parties went on "pause."
In the time since, Iran shut off surveillance cameras of international
inspectors and now has enough high-enriched uranium to potentially fashion into
at least one nuclear bomb if it chose.
And with Iran and the U.S. blaming each other for the talks' failure, it
remains unclear when -- or if -- there will be another round of negotiations.
European Union mediator Enrique Mora on Twitter described as "intense" the
two days of talks in Doha.
"Unfortunately, not yet the progress the EU team as coordinator had
hoped-for," Mora wrote. "We will keep working with even greater urgency to
bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability."
Mora's comments came hours after the semiofficial Tasnim news agency,
believed to be close to Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guard, described the
negotiations as finished hours before they ended and having "no effect on
breaking the deadlock in the talks."
Tasnim claimed that the American position did not include "a guarantee for
Iran benefiting economically from the deal," quoting what it described as
unnamed "informed sources."
"Washington is seeking to revive the (deal) in order to limit Iran without
economic achievement for our country," the Tasnim report claimed. A key
sticking point has been American sanctions targeting the Guard.
U.S. Special Representative Rob Malley spoke to the Iranians through Mora
during the talks. Mora then took messages to Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali
After the Tasnim report, Foreign Minister spokesman Nasser Kanaani issued a
statement describing the talks as "being held in a professional and serious
atmosphere." He later said that Iran and Mora "will be in touch regarding the
continuation of the route and the next stage of the talks."
However, it remains unclear if there will be another round of talks on the
deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The State
Department said that Iran "raised issues wholly unrelated to the JCPOA and
apparently is not ready to make a fundamental decision on whether it wants to
revive the deal or bury it."
"Indirect discussions in Doha have concluded, and while we are very grateful
to the EU for its efforts, we are disappointed that Iran has, yet again, failed
to respond positively to the EU's initiative and therefore that no progress was
made," the State Department said.
Iran and world powers agreed in 2015 to the nuclear deal, which saw Tehran
drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of
economic sanctions. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew
America from the accord, raising tensions across the wider Middle East and
sparking a series of attacks and incidents.
Talks in Vienna about reviving the deal have been on a "pause" since March.
Since the deal's collapse, Iran has been running advanced centrifuges and
rapidly growing stockpiles of enriched uranium. However, Tehran continues to
suffer under intense economic sanctions while the West hopes to again curtail
Iran's nuclear program.
"The incentive for Washington and Tehran to keep the prospect of a deal
alive is strong, even as the actual likelihood of achieving a compromise
diminishes," said Henry Rome, an analyst with the Eurasia Group tracking the
negotiations. "For that reason, we would expect the sides to resume talks in
Doha in the near future, although we are not optimistic about a breakthrough."