Qatar is infamous for many things and trying to get countries together to find common ground is one of those things. This time around, they want to help Iran save the nearly shattered nuclear deal Iran has with many of the global superpowers.
European Union official Enrique Mora sat with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani following a large meeting with Qatari officials. They decided Mora could exchange messages between the US and Iran.
Rob Malley, the U.S. special representative for Iran came to Qatar on Jun 27th to get prepared for the talks. While there he met with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani where they discussed the idea of joint diplomatic talks to work on things with Iran. This is not an unusual stance for the US, but it’s the first time recently that actions were taken to try and broker an agreement.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry was more than happy to broker these discussions. They claimed that they are looking to reestablish the deal “in a way that supports and enhances security, stability, and peace in the region and opens new horizons for broader regional cooperation and dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
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Back in 2015, these world leaders reached a deal with Iran where Tehran would drastically limit their enrichment of uranium, but they would have their economic sanctions lifted. In 2018 President Trump unilaterally withdrew from this agreement. While this change raised tensions in the middle east, Iran used this to their advantage.
While there have been talks in Vienna previously, they have been unproductive since March. When the US pulled out, the Iranians used this time to begin running advanced centrifuges, and very quickly they have begun stockpiling enriched uranium. This increase as well as the uptick in radical Islamic rhetoric has been a grave concern for many nations across the globe.
Investigators in Doha were convening evidence of what installation of a new cascade of centrifuges at their underground Fordo facility, as Iran’s nuclear chief was confirming it. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had previously reported evidence of Iran’s plans to enrich uranium through their new cascade of 166 advanced IR-6 centrifuges. These cascades are groups of centrifuges that work in sync to enrich more uranium. These are incredibly capable devices, and for Iran to have them is a global concern.
Earlier in June Iran had disabled 27 of the IAEA cameras that were installed, with the hopes of putting pressure on western superpowers to come to the table and strike a deal. The IAEA considers this to be disastrous to the previous deal and noted that Iran was already reaching 60% enrichment. This puts them just a few short steps from the 90% minimum to make their first nuclear weapon.