Renewed Iran talks end without significant progress, says EU mediator

US State Department has not yet acknowledged end of talks; European mediator Enrique Mora vows to ‘keep working with even greater urgency’ to further deal

US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley speaks at the Doha Forum in Qatar, where indirect nuclear talks with Iran were held, March 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Lujain Jo)
US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley speaks at the Doha Forum in Qatar, where indirect nuclear talks with Iran were held, March 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Lujain Jo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Indirect negotiations between Iran and the US over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers ended Wednesday in Qatar after failing to make significant progress, a European Union mediator said.

Enrique Mora made the comment on Twitter after what he described as two days of “intense” talks he oversaw 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 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.

Enrique Mora, right, with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the start of their meeting, in Tehran, Iran, March 27, 2022. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

US Special Representative Rob Malley spoke to the Iranians through Mora during the talks. Mora then took messages to Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani.

After the Tasnim report, Iranian Foreign Minister spokesman Nasser Kanaani issued a statement describing the two-day talks as “being held in a professional and serious atmosphere.”

The State Department did not immediately acknowledge the end of the talks.

“As we and our European allies have made clear, we are prepared to immediately conclude and implement the deal we negotiated in Vienna for mutual return to full implementation of the” nuclear deal, the State Department said in an earlier statement. “But for that, Iran needs to decide to drop their additional demands that go beyond the” deal.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, June 23, 2022. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

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-US 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.

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