Photo Credit: IRNA
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hosted members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, June 14, 2023.

The Biden administration has been conducting indirect talks with Iran in Oman, seeking an informal, unwritten agreement whereby Iran will not enrich uranium beyond its current purity level of 60% (weapons grade is estimated at above 80%), and in exchange, the US will not impose new sanction on Iran’s economy or seize illegal Iranian oil shipments, as well as continue to permit the infusion of billions of dollars into Iran, the NY Times reported on Wednesday.

On June 9, Barak Ravid revealed on Axios that “US and Iranian officials held indirect talks in Oman last month with Omani officials shuttling between their separate rooms to deliver messages.” On Monday this week, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani confirmed the report.


When asked about it on Wednesday, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller reassured reporters that “rumors about a nuclear deal, interim or otherwise, are false and misleading.” He explained: “Our position on the question has not changed. Our number one policy is ensuring that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon, so of course we’ve been watching Iran’s enrichment activities. We believe diplomacy is the best path to help achieve that, but we’re preparing for all possible options and contingencies.”

Miller then added: “At the same time, we are not naive about Iran’s ambitions and Iran’s activities, but we have always believed at every step of the way that diplomacy is the best path forward for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But for the United States, all options are on the table.”

But the Times quoted two Israeli officials who said a deal between Iran and the US was “imminent.”

Al-Monitor on Wednesday quoted Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi who said Iran and the United States are “close to finalizing a deal on the release of Americans held in Tehran.” They are Siamak Namaz, who has been detained in Iran since 2015, Environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, detained since 2018, and businessman Emad Shargi who was sentenced without a trial in 2020 to 10 years in prison for espionage.

Spokesperson Miller commented on Wednesday: “I will say with respect to detainees, it continues to be one of our top priorities. I, unfortunately, don’t have an update to share about the status of detainees. We remain committed to securing the freedom of all Americans held overseas, including in Iran, and once again call on Iran to release any detainees.”

The Times suggested that the US waiver to Iraq last week, allowing it to pay $2.76 billion in energy debts to Iran, “could be a sign of a developing agreement.” Of course, the Biden administration has promised that the money would be restricted to paying US-approved third-party vendors for food and medicine for Iranian citizens. The State Department said so.

Iran is also seeking the release of billions of dollars in Iranian assets that have been frozen in South Korean banks under US sanctions. According to Al-Monitor, “A proposed mechanism would permit Iran to access those funds for humanitarian purposes only. Third parties including Oman, Qatar, and the United Kingdom have at various times played a role in facilitating those discussions.”

The Times noted wryly: “That could allay concerns that the Biden administration is placing billions into the hands of a ruthless authoritarian regime that is killing protesters, supporting Russia’s Ukraine war effort, and funding anti-Israeli proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Or not.

Oman’s foreign minister told Al-Monitor that this time he was sensing “seriousness” on the part of both Washington and Tehran.

According to Axios, citing five MKs who were present at the meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset foreign relations and security committee about the Biden administration’s indirect talks with Iran on a “mini agreement” or “an understanding” related to Iran’s nuclear program.

In the same report, Axios said Netanyahu had claimed that “the Biden administration doesn’t see the 2015 nuclear deal as relevant anymore, and an understanding between the US and Iran is possible. He then declared that Israel would not be bound by it.


Previous articleEnglish Jewry In The 1200s
Next articleFriends of Ido Baruch Destroy Terrorist’s Home
David writes news at