Qatar FM says working to revive JCPOA

February 12, 2021 - 22:22

TEHRAN - Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Wednesday that his country is working to de-escalate tensions in the region through reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

“The State of Qatar is working on de-escalation through a political and diplomatic process to return to the nuclear agreement,” the Qatari chief diplomat said, according to a Reuters report.

The remarks came in briefing notes about two separate calls earlier in the week between Thani and U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said last week that during his telephone conversation with Malley, Thani discussed “bilateral cooperation, in addition to issues of joint interest.”

The Foreign Ministry did not give further details but Thani said that Qatar’s communication was going on with both Iran and the United States, given the strategic ties Qatar holds with both.

Turkey also said Doha and Ankara can contribute to easing tensions around the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The tensions we experienced over the previous U.S. administration withdrawing from the nuclear deal, and the embargoes, impacted the entire region. On this issue, especially as Turkey and Qatar, we can provide contributions, and we discussed these,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a news conference with his Qatari counterpart in Doha.

In January, Qatar even expressed readiness to host a summit between Iran and its Persian Gulf’s Arab neighbors.

“We are hopeful that this [summit] would happen and we still believe that this should happen. And I think this is also a desire that being shared among the other GCC countries. I just mentioned to you that there is a difference between the countries on the way how to approach such a dialogue. Also from the Iranian side. They have expressed their willingness several times to engage with the GCC countries,” the Qatari foreign minister said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Thani also expressed hope that what will happen between Iran and the U.S. on the JCPOA would contribute to resolving the differences between Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. “Of course, things are interconnected at the end of the day,” he noted, adding that Qatar will support negotiations between the stakeholders.

“We will be welcoming this idea. We maintain a good relationship with the U.S. and we maintain a good relationship with Iran,” the chief Qatari diplomat continued.

Lolwah al-Khater, spokeswoman for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, also echoed the same position in an interview with the Spanish EFE news agency.

Qatar is ready to mediate between Iran and the United States as the new U.S. president, Joe Biden, assumes office after the turbulent years of the Trump administrations, she noted.

Qatar has recently patched up its ties with several Arab countries after more than three years of diplomatic standoff with some of its GCC partners. After securing a détente with these partners, particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar voiced readiness to play a role in mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia on one hand and between Iran and the U.S. on the other hand.

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