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Iran confirms secret talks with the U.S.

1 min

The newly appointed interim foreign minister of Iran, Ali Bagheri, confirmed on Monday in Beirut that Iran has been holding secret negotiations with the United States in Oman.

Ali Bagheri © IRNA

The newly appointed interim foreign minister of Iran, Ali Bagheri, confirmed on Monday in Beirut that Iran has been holding secret negotiations with the United States in Oman. 

This disclosure comes despite the longstanding lack of formal diplomatic relations between the two nations, which have been severed since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

During a press conference, Bagheri stated, "We have always pursued our discussions (...) These discussions have never stopped." This confirmation follows a report by the Financial Times in March that highlighted indirect talks between Bagheri and U.S. representatives in early 2024, amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Ali Bagheri's visit to Beirut marks his first international trip since his provisional appointment following the death of former Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. 

Amir-Abdollahian, along with President Ebrahim Raisi, tragically died in a helicopter crash. Bagheri emphasized that he chose Lebanon for his inaugural visit abroad due to its significance as "the cradle of resistance" against Israel.

Iran provides substantial military and financial support to Hezbollah, a powerful pro-Iranian militia. Since the onset of the recent conflict in Gaza, Hezbollah has opened a front along the Lebanon-Israel border to support its Palestinian ally, Hamas.

Addressing questions about Iran's nuclear program, Bagheri, who has been overseeing negotiations on this issue, mentioned that "the process of discussions is ongoing." He advised Western parties to seize the opportunity and rectify their unmet obligations.

Despite American hesitations, European nations have decided to present a resolution condemning Iran's nuclear escalation at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, which commenced on Monday in Vienna. 

While Tehran has consistently denied intentions to develop nuclear weapons, it now possesses sufficient material to construct three bombs, raising significant concerns as tensions in the Middle East escalate.

Following his visit to Lebanon, Bagheri is scheduled to travel to Syria on Tuesday, where Iran continues to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

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