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Israel alarmed by IAEA report, possible US backchannel diplomacy with Iran

Also: IAEA report hints at Iran’s post-JCPOA nuclear posture; Gulf uncertainty over US policy; Omani diplomacy back in spotlight.
Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said (L) meets with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) in Tehran on May 29.

Sultan Haitham in Iran   

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, is “not on the agenda right now,” according to the White House, but US-Iran diplomacy nonetheless continues indirectly through trusted intermediaries. 

Axios reported this week that White House Middle East Coordinator Brett McGurk was in Oman May 8 for discussions with his hosts regarding Iran.   

The United States and Iran, while not speaking directly, have relied on the European Union, Oman and others to work through what might be possible in the absence of the JCPOA. The so far elusive package — known as “less for less” — is expected to include some form of sanctions relief, short of the JCPOA, and unfreezing as much as $7 billion in South Koran funds owed to Iran, in return for Tehran implementing a cap on its enrichment activities to prevent it from making further progress toward a potential nuclear weapon. 

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