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Iran-U.S. Nuke Talks End, No Progress  06/30 06:22


   DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Indirect negotiations between Iran and 
the U.S. over Tehran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers ended Wednesday 
in Qatar after failing to make significant progress amid a growing crisis over 
the Islamic Republic's atomic program, diplomats said.

   The Doha talks broke up after two days without any sign of a breakthrough, 
months after talks in Vienna among all of the deal's parties went on "pause." 
In the time since, Iran shut off surveillance cameras of international 
inspectors and now has enough high-enriched uranium to potentially fashion into 
at least one nuclear bomb if it chose.

   And with Iran and the U.S. blaming each other for the talks' failure, it 
remains unclear when -- or if -- there will be another round of negotiations.

   European Union mediator Enrique Mora on Twitter described as "intense" the 
two days of talks in Doha.

   "Unfortunately, not yet the progress the EU team as coordinator had 
hoped-for," Mora wrote. "We will keep working with even greater urgency to 
bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability."

   Mora's comments came hours after the semiofficial Tasnim news agency, 
believed to be close to Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guard, described the 
negotiations as finished hours before they ended and having "no effect on 
breaking the deadlock in the talks."

   Tasnim claimed that the American position did not include "a guarantee for 
Iran benefiting economically from the deal," quoting what it described as 
unnamed "informed sources."

   "Washington is seeking to revive the (deal) in order to limit Iran without 
economic achievement for our country," the Tasnim report claimed. A key 
sticking point has been American sanctions targeting the Guard.

   U.S. Special Representative Rob Malley spoke to the Iranians through Mora 
during the talks. Mora then took messages to Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali 
Bagheri Kani.

   After the Tasnim report, Foreign Minister spokesman Nasser Kanaani issued a 
statement describing the talks as "being held in a professional and serious 
atmosphere." He later said that Iran and Mora "will be in touch regarding the 
continuation of the route and the next stage of the talks."

   However, it remains unclear if there will be another round of talks on the 
deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The State 
Department said that Iran "raised issues wholly unrelated to the JCPOA and 
apparently is not ready to make a fundamental decision on whether it wants to 
revive the deal or bury it."

   "Indirect discussions in Doha have concluded, and while we are very grateful 
to the EU for its efforts, we are disappointed that Iran has, yet again, failed 
to respond positively to the EU's initiative and therefore that no progress was 
made," the State Department said.

   Iran and world powers agreed in 2015 to the nuclear deal, which saw Tehran 
drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of 
economic sanctions. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew 
America from the accord, raising tensions across the wider Middle East and 
sparking a series of attacks and incidents.

   Talks in Vienna about reviving the deal have been on a "pause" since March. 
Since the deal's collapse, Iran has been running advanced centrifuges and 
rapidly growing stockpiles of enriched uranium. However, Tehran continues to 
suffer under intense economic sanctions while the West hopes to again curtail 
Iran's nuclear program.

   "The incentive for Washington and Tehran to keep the prospect of a deal 
alive is strong, even as the actual likelihood of achieving a compromise 
diminishes," said Henry Rome, an analyst with the Eurasia Group tracking the 
negotiations. "For that reason, we would expect the sides to resume talks in 
Doha in the near future, although we are not optimistic about a breakthrough."

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