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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Rise of Arab-Israel Alliance Reportedly Prompts Iran to Seek Nuclear Talks


Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani at a meeting in Tehran, June 23. | Image by Arab Weekly

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According to officials and observers, the threat of a rising Arab-Israeli alliance that might shift the Middle East’s power balance farther away from Iran is motivating the Islamic Republic to pursue nuclear discussions with international powers with increased vigor.

On Wednesday, indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington to save a 2015 nuclear agreement ended in Qatar, reportedly without making any headway. Iran questioned the American commitment, and Washington urged Tehran to scale back its expectations.

However, the difficulties of the negotiations have not deterred Iran, two Iranian officials and a lawmaker told Reuters, adding that the country’s establishment of hardliners was committed to pursuing diplomacy.

If a settlement could be reached, the sanctions constricting Iran’s economy would be lifted, allowing oil exports to rise from the present level of fewer than one million barrels per day (bpd) to the estimated 2.8 million bpd that were transported before the sanctions were reinstated.

According to the officials and lawmakers, a war in a region where geopolitical changes could result in a U.S.-led alliance unfriendly to Tehran would be the worst possible outcome for Iran.

Tehran has been prodded to continue diplomatic efforts as concerns over normalization agreements between Israel and several of its erstwhile Arab adversaries, known as the Abraham Accords, have grown.

A high-ranking Iranian official with close ties to the country’s leaders said, “The region is changing, alliances are changing. Israel is normalizing ties with Arab countries, and Americans support all these developments.”

“These are serious threats that need to be thwarted. Our enemies are praying to God for the end of the nuclear talks. But it will not happen,” the official said.

Iran agreed to hold the talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar, to continue the dialogue almost two weeks before U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The talks were intended to find a diplomatic solution to the stalemate.

“The Doha meeting’s message to countries in the Persian Gulf was simple: unlike what Israel claims, Iran believes in diplomacy as a solution for all issues, from nuclear to regional and beyond,” another Iranian official said.

Diplomats promised that there would be more “talks for talks” after the Doha negotiations failed.     

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