(Photo Credit: Iran’s Foreign Ministry)
On 29 January, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian disclosed that Qatar is currently relaying messages between Tehran and other members of the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in a bid to resume the stalled talks.
Amir-Abdollahian made the announcement during a bilateral press conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, in Tehran. The Iranian foreign minister thanked Al-Thani for Doha’s efforts to bring all parties of the JCPOA back into the discussion.
The two foreign ministers also discussed regional and bilateral developments, specifically boosting economic cooperation between Tehran and Doha. Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Iran “always welcomes regional dialogue” to bolster relations amongst regional states.
Al-Thani noted that he traveled to Tehran to meet with his Iranian counterpart to deliver messages from the US, adding that Washington provided solutions to resolve the revival of the nuclear deal.
Since last year, Doha has stepped up its efforts to mediate talks between Iran and other parties of the JCPOA. Qatar has previously expressed its desire for Iran and US to revive the nuclear deal and end the tensions between the Persian Gulf states.
Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA – Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany held several rounds of negotiations in Vienna since April 2021 to restore the agreement, which was abandoned by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018 to exert “maximum pressure” on Tehran; however, talks came to halt in 2022.
In September 2022, Qatar repatriated Iranian citizens to serve their sentences in prison back in Tehran, handing over 19 prisoners convicted by the Qatari judiciary on charges of drug trafficking.
Doha and Tehran currently strive to boost bilateral cooperation, with both signing 14 agreements last year intended to strengthen ties in various educational and economic sectors, including tourism.
The strengthening of bilateral ties between the two also materialized in Qatar’s vocal support for reviving JCPOA.