Possibility of New Understanding Between US and Iran
After the release of American prisoners and the release of Iranian funds, Qatar believes there’s the possibility of new understandings between the US and Iran. The two countries have also been working towards mending bridges.
The US has been taking steps to limit Iran’s nuclear programme, and Tehran has also taken initiative in slowing down its nuclear ambitions. But US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Tuesday that Iran must take de-escalatory steps if it wants to reduce tensions and create a space for diplomacy.
He said the US has seen no indications that Iran is indeed serious about addressing the concerns about its nuclear program. “If Iran really is serious about taking de-escalatory steps, the first thing it could do would be to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We have not seen them fully do that.”
Curbing Iran’s Nuclear Efforts
The nuclear programme is a key issue with the US and other countries like Israel and European countries. Miller said Washington is using diplomatic engagements. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Iran’s decision to bar some UN nuclear inspectors suggests it is not interested in being a responsible actor on its atomic program. “We tried to work indirectly with Iran as well as with European partners and even Russia and China to see if we can get a return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, but Iran couldn’t or wouldn’t do that.”
Besides continued pressure on Iran’s nuclear program, the US slapped more sanctions on seven Iranians and four entities for allegedly facilitating shipments and financial transactions to the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA). The US also said that Iran continues to sell drones to Russia for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
However, Iran lashed out at the US for trying to obscure its own role in triggering the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Direct Talks Between US and Iran
There’s also the possibility of direct talks between the US and Iran in regards to the nuclear programme. Regional reports say the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had given the go ahead for direct nuclear talks between the two countries. Ali Bagheri, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator, is set to meet Brett McGurk, US special envoy, in Oman. They were supposed to have a sit-down on the sidelines of the UN’s annual high-level meeting, but it didn’t happen.