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Qatar emir visits Iran as nuke talks falter

TEHRAN (AFP) – Qatar’s ruler met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran yesterday, state television reported, as talks falter on bringing Washington back into a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.

The one-day visit by the emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani came as the European Union’s (EU) coordinator for the nuclear talks, Enrique Mora, held a second day of meetings in Tehran with Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri.

Qatar added the Iran nuclear dispute to the list of diplomatic hotspots where it sought to play a behind-the-scenes mediating role, and the emir has called for more dialogue to settle the standoff.

Unlike some of its neighbours, Qatar has maintained close relations with Iran.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA said “unfreezing Iran’s assets, cooperation in holding the 2022 World Cup, pursuing prisoner exchanges and cooperation in the field of energy” were also on the agenda of the emir’s visit.

Iran expressed interest in hosting spectators for the World Cup finals in Qatar in November on its nearby resort island of Kish.