Report: Progress in negotiations between Iran and US

Reports about prisoner exchanges started to surface in the American media, with denials by both sides. Meanwhile, it was claimed that the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, was updated by the White House about the progress in negotiations

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participates in a virtual joint press conference with United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, in London, United Kingdom, on May 3, 2021. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

It is possible that the U.S. and Iran are getting closer to reaching an agreement on the nuclear deal, despite efforts by officials in Washington to deny that an agreement is imminent. This week there is a flurry of diplomatic activity on the issue. AP reported from Vienna that the U.S. and Britain denied reports that there is an agreement at hand on the exchange of prisoners, which could serve as a confidence-building measure between the sides.

The flurry of diplomatic activity is continuing, and in this context the report noted the meeting in which Biden, his secretary of state, and his national security adviser met with the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, who according to the White House spokesperson was briefed on the talks in Vienna "and the progress being made there."  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab denied that a prisoner exchange agreement has been struck, but meanwhile, Washington dispatched several senior diplomats to the Middle East for talks with the leaders of Gulf states. Two of the leading proponents of the nuclear deal, Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Chris Murphy, are also touring the region.   

Administration officials reiterate that a certain easing of the sanctions is the only way to reach any agreement with Iran and prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. 

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