The Washington Post quoted a senior US official as saying that the United States had agreed to attend the new round of talks with Iran, at a time when Iranian media announced that Qatar would host indirect talks between Tehran and Washington.

The American newspaper reported that negotiations on reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran will resume this week.

While Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri heads to Doha on Tuesday, Israel said it would continue to work with world powers to try to craft any Iranian nuclear deal.

These talks come amid European Union efforts to end stalled negotiations to revive Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The adviser to the Iranian negotiating delegation, Muhammad Marandi, told Al Jazeera that it is likely that Qatar will host the next round of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file.


Hosting and justifications

The Iranian official explained that the talk about Qatar hosting the negotiations stems from being a friendly country to Iran in the region, stressing that the negotiations between Tehran and Washington will be indirect, as was the case in Vienna, and will focus on resolving the remaining points of contention related to lifting sanctions and guarantees.

According to the same source, and since the remaining differences are concentrated between Iran and the United States, it is not necessary for the rest of the parties from the "4 + 1" countries to attend, as he put it.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh had announced earlier that his country would announce within hours the place and time of resuming nuclear talks that would be in a Gulf country.

He stressed that his country will not negotiate on the nuclear issues discussed in Vienna, adding that the upcoming negotiations will aim to resolve the outstanding issues regarding lifting sanctions on Iran.

He also indicated that the remaining files are points of contention between Tehran and Washington, and explained that the negotiations were based on a lack of confidence in Washington.

"The ball is in the American court, and if Washington has the necessary will, a conclusion can be reached," he added.

Part of the Iranian nuclear negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna (Reuters)

Withdrawal and repercussions

The United States withdrew from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear file in 2018 under its former president, Donald Trump, and re-imposed economic sanctions on Tehran.

Iran responded a year later by beginning to retreat from many of its basic commitments, most notably its uranium enrichment levels.

The administration of US President Joe Biden later sought to return to the agreement.

Since 2021, Iran and the parties that are still in the agreement - with indirect US participation - have started discussions in Vienna aimed at reviving it.

The talks made progress that brought those concerned close to reaching an understanding, but they have been suspended since last March, with points of disagreement remaining between Tehran and Washington, especially with regard to Tehran's demand to remove the name of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from Washington's list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Tehran also demanded - during the Vienna talks - US guarantees not to repeat the scenario of Trump's withdrawal from the agreement.

Borrell (left) during his meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister in Tehran on Saturday (Reuters)

separate negotiations

The European Union's foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said - Saturday in Tehran - that the negotiations will be separate from broader talks in Vienna between Iran and the major powers, which are being mediated by the European Union.

After talks in Tehran on Saturday, Borrell said negotiations to revive the nuclear deal would resume within days.

These bilateral talks between the United States and Iran will likely be held separately in Doha, to avoid any confusion with the broader Vienna talks.

Neither Borrell nor Khatibzadeh specified which country would host the talks.

The "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (the official name of the nuclear agreement) was reached after initial contacts took place between Iran and the United States in the Sultanate of Oman, which maintains good historical relations with the two parties.

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