By Syed Zafar Mehdi
TEHRAN, Iran (AA) - Indirect talks between Iran and the US to revive the 2015 nuclear deal ended in the Qatari capital Doha without a result, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News reported.
Tasnim, citing sources, said the talks mediated by the EU ended, for now, blaming the cessation of the talks on the US insistence on restoring the 2015 accord without giving guarantees of “economic benefits” to Iran.
Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stressed that any issue obstructing Iran's economic benefits will "not be acceptable” in the fresh round of talks.
According to Tasnim, Washington has insisted on its own initiative, proposed during the Vienna nuclear talks, which lacks guarantees of Iran’s economic benefits from reviving the 2015 deal.
The state news agency IRNA, however, quoted informed sources as saying that the Doha talks were still underway.
“In this round of negotiations, the European side has also been playing its role, but the issues between the two sides are still being pursued and discussed. The two-day talks in Doha continue and the European side continues to exchange messages between the Iran-US negotiating teams,” IRNA said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran’s lead negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and his EU counterpart Enrique Mora will meet this evening in Doha.
He said the Doha talks were originally scheduled for two days, adding that the discussions were being held in a professional and serious atmosphere.
The indirect talks between Iran and the US resumed in Doha on Tuesday, two days after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell dashed off to Tehran to revive the stalled nuclear negotiations.
Borrell said his trip to Tehran had one important objective -- to break the deadlock in the nuclear talks, reduce tensions and create fresh impetus and opportunity to put stalled talks back on the track.
The key disagreements between Tehran and Washington include the de-listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, economic benefits for Iran, and guarantees that the future US administration will not walk out of the deal again.
On Tuesday, Kani and Mora held talks on the future course of action in Doha.
Tasnim said that the EU played the role of mediator and transmitter of messages between Iran and the US in this round and that Tehran reiterated the need for a lasting agreement.
Interestingly, the report came hours after Nour News, affiliated with Iran’s top security body, said that two officials had discussions on the remaining issues on Tuesday and that it was not yet possible “to determine the outlook for the timing of the talks.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister said an agreement in the fresh round of talks is well within the reach if the US shows “resolve” and acts “realistically.”
He said Tehran was serious and not ready to cross its red lines with an objective of “meeting the country’s national interests to the maximum.”
The top Iranian diplomat added that his country was prepared to return to full compliance with the nuclear deal if the US and its three European allies show “realism.”