The United States and Iran may be nearing a deal that could see sanctions on Iran lifted, based on reports about the U.S. Secretary of State doing a Gulf round to calm down U.S. allies there about the deal.
Per the Associated Press, Anthony Blinken visited Israel and the Gulf states this weekend in a bid to quench fears of an imminent Iran deal.
"When it comes to the most important element, we see eye-to-eye," Blinken said during a news conference with his Israeli counterpart. "We are both committed, both determined that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon."
According to the U.S. Secretary of State, the best way to ensure that Iran will not become a nuclear power is to seal a deal with Tehran.
"Our commitment to the core principle of Iran never acquiring a nuclear weapon is unwavering," the top U.S. official said.
Even so, the deal is far from certain yet as sticking points remain, such as the U.S. designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group. Iran wants this removed, while Israel fiercely opposes such a move.
In fact, also this weekend, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said that he was not confident a deal was about to be sealed, Reuters reported on Sunday.
"I can't be confident it is imminent... A few months ago we thought we were pretty close as well," Malley said at the Doha Forum. "In any negotiations, when there's issues that remain open for so long, it tells you something about how hard it is to bridge the gap."
On the other hand, a senior Iranian source told the media that a deal was, in fact, imminent.
"Yes, it's imminent. It depends on the political will of the United States," Kamal Kharrazi, senior adviser to Iran's supreme ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said at the Doha Forum.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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