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Qatari emir visits Iran amid deadlocked talks on nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Iran — Qatar’s emir has arrived in Iran for talks with the Iranian president, state media reports, as efforts to save Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers hits a deadlock.

State TV shows the arrival of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport, where he is received by Iran’s senior vice president Mohammad Mokhber. The report says said bilateral, regional and international issues are on the agenda during the visit.

The emir will meet President Ebrahim Raisi later today.

The official visit comes as the European Union’s coordinator trying to revive the nuclear deal is still in Iran.

Talks in Vienna have been stalled for months, apparently over an Iranian demand that Washington lift a terrorism designation on Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Enrique Mora met with the Iranian nuclear negotiator yesterday to make a diplomatic push, just after Iranian intelligence services announced they had detained two unidentified European citizens. Talks are continuing today, Iranian media reports without giving details.

Qatar hosted Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in February. Despite its small size, the tiny Gulf Arab sheikdom plays a strategic role as a quiet mediator and negotiator in a region rife with sectarian and political conflict. Qatar’s ties with both Washington and Tehran allow Doha to relay viewpoints between the two.

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