Iran and the US plan to hold indirect bilateral talks on the sanctions issue later this week. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Chatibsadeh said on Monday the talks should take place “in the coming days”.
In Washington, a State Department spokesman confirmed a meeting planned for this week in a country on the Persian Gulf.
None of the speakers gave precise information about the location of the conference. Chatibsadeh also only spoke of a Gulf state as the host of the talks. According to Iranian media reports, it is Qatar.
In indirect negotiations, the delegations do not sit together at the table, but exchange their positions via a third party. The negotiations now announced by Tehran are not identical to the talks in Vienna about Iran’s nuclear program, in which the USA is also only indirectly involved.
“We are grateful to our EU partners who continue to send messages and work to move these negotiations forward,” the US spokesman said. Washington is ready to return to the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran. However, Iran would have to drop demands that go beyond the agreement.
Chatibsadeh said the forthcoming bilateral talks with the US are not about the “nuclear dimension”. The subject is “existing differences” and the “lifting of sanctions” against his country.
Vienna’s negotiations with Iran are also to be continued in the coming days, as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian announced at a meeting in Tehran over the weekend.
The talks in Vienna are about reviving the nuclear agreement. Negotiations had started in April 2021 but had stalled. One point of contention is Iran’s demand to remove its Revolutionary Guards from a US terrorist list.
The United States withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reinstated extensive sanctions against Iran. In response, Tehran gradually renounced its obligations under the agreement.