Iran’s foreign minister is on a regional tour while talks in Vienna to restore the 2015 nuclear deal continue.
Tehran, Iran – Iran’s foreign minister has held high-level talks in Qatar following a visit to Oman, countries that have a history of trying to mediate between Iran and the United States over their 2015 nuclear deal.
Hossein Amirabdollahian landed in Doha in the early hours of Tuesday morning and met with both Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Amirabdollahian and the emir had discussed the latest developments in Vienna, where negotiations continue to restore the nuclear deal with world powers by lifting US sanctions and scaling back Iran’s nuclear program.
After a month-long hiatus, talks in Vienna to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known, began at the end of November.
The US, which is unilateral withdraw from the agreement in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, participates indirectly.
All sides recently agreed that progress has been made in the intensive talks, but more work is needed to reach a final agreement.
Western parties continue to warn that time is limited due to Iran’s nuclear power progress. But Iran, which insists it will never seek a nuclear weapon, says it wants nothing less than a “good deal” to fully restore the nuclear deal and enjoy its economic benefits.
Amirabdollahian and Al Thani also discussed ways on Tuesday to improve bilateral relations, something they say is a priority for both nations. Amirabdollahian also said Iran was ready to strengthen ties across the region in “bilateral or multilateral formats”.
Meetings in Oman
Amirabdollahian was in Muscat on Monday, where he met with Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, the sultan’s longtime deputy, on a series of bilateral, regional and international issues.
According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, he informed al-Said about the latest developments in Vienna, saying Iran has proposed practical solutions and is serious about reaching an agreement.
Amirabdollahian also said Oman is a major priority in President Ebrahim Raisi’s foreign policy to develop close ties with regional neighbors, and Iran would like to further cultivate political, economic and cultural relations.
The two also discussed Yemen, where Iran and Saudi Arabia bitterly support opposing sides. seven years of civil war.
Oman recently facilitated the transfer of Iran’s top envoy to Yemen after he fell ill. Hassan Irloo died in Tehran days later, and Iran blames Saudi Arabia for delaying its transfer.
In addition to the meeting with Oman’s Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi, Amirabdollahian also used his Muscat visit to sit down with the Yemeni Houthi’s top negotiator, Mohammed Abdulsalam.
The Iranian foreign minister told him Iran wanted an end to the war in Yemen, and believed only dialogue between different local factions could result in a stable political future.
“This is a Yemeni issue and Yemeni-Yemeni talks can determine the political future of the country,” he said, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Tehran and Riyadh have so far held four rounds of direct talks hosted by Iraq to resolve the Yemeni issue and bilateral hostilities. A fifth round is expected soon.