Qatar will host indirect talks between Iran and the United States in the coming days, Iranian media has reported, amid a push by the European Union to break a months-long impasse in negotiations to reinstate a 2015 nuclear pact.
"Iran has chosen Qatar to host the talks because of Doha's friendly ties with Tehran," Mohammad Marandi, a media adviser to Iran's top nuclear negotiator, told the ISNA news agency.
A source briefed on the visit said that US Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, was expected to arrive in Doha on Monday and meet with the Qatari foreign minister.
An Iranian official told Reuters that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, would be in Doha for the talks on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Iran's foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment and the Qatari government didn’t comment.
Later, however, Iran's Tasnim news agency cited a source at Iran's foreign ministry as saying that "Bagheri will travel to Doha on Tuesday".
The pact appeared close to being secured in March when the EU invited foreign ministers representing the accord's parties to Vienna to finalise an agreement after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and President Joe Biden's administration.
But the talks have since been suspended, chiefly over Tehran's insistence that Washington remove Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite security force, from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Last week, one Iranian and one European official told Reuters that Iran had dropped its demand for the removal of the IRGC's FTO sanctions, but still two issues, including one on sanctions, remained to be resolved.
"Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.
The 2015 nuclear pact imposed restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. Then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018, reimposing tough economic sanctions on Tehran.
Iran's clerical establishment responded by breaching the pact's nuclear restrictions, including a 3.67 percent cap on the level to which it could purify uranium and a 202.8-kg limit on its enriched uranium stock.