Qatar’s emir holds tense talks in Iran over nuclear weapons deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The emir of Qatar arrived in Iran on Thursday for talks with the Iranian president as efforts to salvage Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers stalled, state media reported.

State television broadcast footage of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arriving at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, where he was received by Iran’s senior vice president, Mohammad Mohber. Bilateral, regional and international issues were on the agenda during the visit, the report said.

The emir will meet President Ibrahim Raisi later in the day.

The official visit comes as the coordinator of the EU’s attempt to revive the nuclear deal is still in Iran.

Talks in Vienna have been stalled for months, apparently because of Iran’s demands that Washington remove the terrorist designation of Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guards.

Enrique Mora met with Iranian nuclear negotiators on Wednesday for a diplomatic push, just after Iranian intelligence announced they had detained two unidentified European citizens. Iranian media reported that the talks continued on Thursday, but gave no details.

Qatar hosted Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi in February. Despite its small size, the tiny Gulf Arab emirate plays a strategic role as a quiet mediator and negotiator in a region fraught with sectarian and political conflict. Qatar’s ties to Washington and Tehran allow Doha to pass views between the two.

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