Qatari minister in Tehran as Doha steps up role as Iran-US mediator

Qatar's Minister of State Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi held a series of meetings with senior Iranian officials during an official visit to Tehran on Sunday.

In his meeting with the visiting Qatari official, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries on bilateral, regional, and international issues, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Importantly, it was their second meeting in less than four months, as Qatar steps up its regional engagement and acts as a go-between for Tehran and Washington.

The ministry statement said Al-Khulaifi handed an invitation letter from the Qatari Emir for President Ebrahim Raisi to the top Iranian diplomat, pointing to the significance of the visit.

Earlier in the day, the senior Qatari diplomat also met and held talks with Iran's deputy foreign minister and lead nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, as well as the recently appointed security chief, Ali-Akbar Ahmadian.

Amid the stalemate in the Vienna talks, which have been ongoing since April 2021 and have been stalled since August 2022 and are mediated by the EU, Qatar, and Oman have stepped in to mediate indirect talks between Iran and the US.

Notably, Al-Khulaifi’s visit to Tehran came days after Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi touched down in Tehran for talks followed by a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart.

According to sources, the Qatari minister and Bagheri discussed the latest developments in Doha-mediated efforts to revive the talks that have been stalled since last August.

Al-Khalifi also met with Alhamdian, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and delivered a message from Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

During his previous visit to Tehran in March, the Qatari diplomat met with Alhamdian's predecessor Ali Shamkhani.

Qatar has also been reportedly involved in efforts to have Iran's frozen assets in South Korea released, which makes Al-Khalifi's meetings with the top Iranian security official significant.

It is worth noting that Iran's foreign minister said in January this year that Tehran had received messages from other parties to the 2015 deal through Qatar aimed at resuming the stalled talks.

He thanked the Qatari government at the time for its efforts in bringing all parties to the nuclear deal back to their commitments.

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