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Qatar's emir in Iran in bid to help salvage 2015 nuclear pact

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi walks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran May 12, 2022. President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has arrived in Iran, Iranian state media reported on Thursday, as the Gulf state tries to help end a row between Tehran and Washington over revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.

While Iranian state media portrayed the visit as proof of Iran's expansion of ties with regional countries, a source briefed on the visit told Reuters on Sunday that the emir's trip was aimed to bring the parties to the Iran nuclear pact to "a new middle ground".

The stakes are high, since failure to reinstate the pact could carry the risk of a fresh regional war, with Israel, Iran's arch-foe, threatening military action if diplomacy collapses.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in Tehran, Iran May 12, 2022. President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

Almost a year of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington to save the pact has been on hold since March, chiefly over Tehran's insistence that the U.S. remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite security force, from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.

Washington has made it clear that it has no such plans, while also not ruling it out.

Iran's hardline rulers believe that an uncompromising approach, spearheaded by the country's strongly anti-Western Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, can force Washington to accept Tehran’s demands, Iranian officials told Reuters last month.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in Tehran, Iran May 12, 2022. President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

Under the 2015 pact, Iran curbed its sensitive uranium enrichment work, a possible pathway to nuclear arms, in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

But in 2018, then-U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the pact and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to retaliate by gradually breaching the pact's nuclear curbs.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani , in Tehran, Iran May 12, 2022. Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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Dive Deeper:
Qatar emir visits Iran as nuclear talks falter
Tehran (AFP) - Qatar's ruler met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran Thursday, state television reported, as talks falter on…
Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim meets top Iranian officials in Tehran
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani meets Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.
Iran, Qatar Link 'Regional Dialogue' to Nuclear Deal
Qatar and Iran have stressed their determination to resolve differences in the region through dialogue. The two countries also underlined…
Qatar's emir - those responsible for killing Al Jazeera reporter must be held accountable
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Thursday that those responsible for killing veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Qatar, EU say pushing stalled Iran nuclear talks
Tehran (AFP) - Qatar's emir and the European Union on Thursday said they are working to push forward stalled negotiations…
Qatar emir blames Israel for Al Jazeera journalist death
Tehran (AFP) - The emir of Qatar on Thursday accused Israel over the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu…
Get all your news in one place