Iran And The Qatar Crisis

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Iran And The Qatar Crisis

A woman and boy walk past a Qatar Airways branch in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on 5 June 2017 (AFP/Getty Images)

Tension between Qatar and Saudia began in 2016 when Qatar was the last Arabian Gulf country to condemn the Iranian government for the attack on the Saudi embassy in Iran by protestors that took place after Saudi Arabia had executed a Saudi Shia cleric. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt launched a number of attempts to prevent Qatar’s cooperation with Iran.

On June 4, 2017, when the attempts failed, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrin announced cutting all diplomatic ties with Qatar. They even imposed limited sanctions on Qatar banning Qatari jets and ships from entering the airspace or ports of Saudi Arabia and its allies. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia said that Qatar has to cut its diplomatic relations with Iran and to stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the Hamas movement and Hezbollah.

Qatar refused to fulfil the demands. Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamad Bin Abdu Allah Al-Thani announced that Doha refuses any intervention in its foreign affairs and insured that Qatar can hold on forever facing the sanctions imposed on it.

Mohamad Al-Thani also said “No one got the right to intervene in our foreign politics.

Iran didn’t support the actions of the Saudi-led block.

“The solution to differences among regional countries, including the current dispute between Qatar and its three neighboring states, is possible only through political and peaceful methods as well as transparent and explicit dialogue among the involved parties,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. “The Islamic Republic of Iran calls on all neighbors involved in the ongoing disputes in south of the Persian Gulf to learn from the bitter experiences in the region… and move toward decreasing tension and restoring peace while exercising restraint.”

Many Iranian experts have linked the Saudi-led block actions against Qatar with the Arabian-American meeting in Saudi Arabia last week. Many of them believe that the kingdom’s actions were pre-approved by the USA.

Iran and Qatar start working to counter the anti-Qatari sanctions. Iran allowed Qatari Air Ways to use its aerospace. Over 150 Qatari jet crossed the Iranian skies daily. Moreover Iran announced that three seaports will be available to export goods to Qatar.

In the current situation, Iran expanded efforts aimed at drawing Qatar into the Iranian sphere of influence in the Middle East and the Saudi-led block actions contribute to these efforts.

Diplomatic relations were established between Iran and Qatar during the area of the Iranian Shah, Mohammad Reda Pahlawi, where it was agreed in 1969 on the demarcation of the border between the two countries. After the Islamic revolution in Iran, Qatar began providing financial support to the former Iraqi president Saadam Hussine in his war against Iran from 1980 to 1988. However, after the war, it immediately restored a significant part of its relations with Iran, where Iran and Qatar agreed in 1989 to operate the North Qatar gas field jointly, as one third of the field is located in Iranian territorial waters.

In 1991, Qatar reestablished its diplomatic relations fully with Iran, but the Iran-Qatar relations didn’t develop significantly due to internal pressure in Iran against the Gulf and Saudi pressure on Qatar, this political pressure led to the failure of a project to regulate security in the Arabian Gulf with the participation of Iran. It also aborted a project to pump fresh water from Iran to Qatar.

In 2006, Iran-Qatar relations developed significantly, with Qatar playing a key role in supporting Hizbollah during the 2006 Lebanon war, where Qatar was the first country to send humanitarian aid to Lebanon. Moreover, Qatar – using its relations with Israel – is believed to have played a key role in the negotiations which ended the Lebanon 2006 war with a ceasefire.

After the end of the 2006 war, the relations between Qatar and Hezbollah grew significantly. Qatar – in cooperation with Iran – reconstructed Lebanon and especially the southern suburb of Beirut and the villages of southern Lebanon.

Iran worked to develop Syrian-Qatari relations, and after that Qatar worked to develop Syrian-Turkish relations. In the end, one of the strongest and most “strange” (according to some experts) alliances in the region was born including: Syria, Iran, Qatar, Hamas and Hezbollah. Moreover, Syria and Qatar worked to push Turkey to lead the Iran-US negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

In February 2010, Qatari Prime Minister (Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani) said that if the Iranian program led to a “nuclear race in the region, it would be an unhealthy race for all.” Sheikh Jaber also called for “direct dialogue between Iran and the United States”. In May 2010, Qatari Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed their support for the Turkish-led efforts to find a diplomatic solution for Iran’s nuclear program.

In 2011, despite the collapse of the alliance created by Iran and Qatar as a result of the Syrian crisis and the support of Qatar and Turkey for opposition groups and later terrorist groups, the Iranian-Qatari relations were not affected at all. As well, Qatar hasn’t criticized Iran for the popular protests in Bahrain unlike other Arabian Gulf countries.

“The joint Investment of gas” might be one of the most important aspects of the Qatari-Iranian relationship, which is the most important source of national income in Qatar. Moreover, Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood makes it closer to Iran, which has supported Hamas for a very long time.

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  • Solomon Krupacek

    “Tension between Qatar and Saudia began in 2016 when Qatar was the last
    Arabian Gulf country to condemn the Iranian government for the attack on
    the Saudi embassy in Iran by protestors that took place after Saudi
    Arabia had executed a Saudi Shia cleric.”

    this conflict is long-lasting

    1995 – emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
    primary goal to lead ot the country from saudiy shadow
    big csoice: LNG export instead of oil. qatar gas wen on asian and european markets. other GCC countires were not able to buy cheap gas.
    1st conflict

    american umbrella: al-Udeid airbase

    inbetween got the rights for 2022 football world championship, founded al-jasira, which really made active interventions in different countries.
    therefore saud arabia removed diplomats from qatar in 2002. 2nd conflict
    only after 5 years were the contacts normalised.

    arab spring
    qatar aupported moslem brotherhood in egypt. qatar gave asylum for the most important leaders of MB. (MB questions the tradiotonal monarchies, therefore enemy of all GCC countries.) Mohammed Mursi was qatars allied. when the army kicked himout, the new president abdel fatta as sissi was already the allied of riyad. such parallell structures are present in libya ans syria, where both countires support quite another proxies. 3rd conflict

    in june 2013 abdicated the emir and gave the power to his son, 33 y old Tamim. Saudis though, now van have more influence in qatar. baut again the leaders of MB found a safe space in qatar. after that the countries of GCC want, that qatar sign an agreement, that finishes the support of MB, and in regional questions will act in accordance of GCC lines. in 2014 realized, qatar did not fullfilled the agreement, an made diplomatic pressure. all GCC countires called back diplomats. 4th conflict
    Kuwait tried to negotiate. in november qatar made some positive steps. the leaders of MB sent in turkey, closed the egyptian bureau of al jaseira, promised, that will not give citizenship for questionable persons and will cooperate in GCC.

    the reasons of actual conflict. qatar paid 0.5-1 milliard dollars for kidmnapped memebers of emir in south iraq. they contajted hezbollah, jabat an nusra and iran. this irritated the iraqi PM, and the foreig minister of UAE accused qatar with silent support of islamists. second reason is an al jaseira news, according which the emir positivelytalked about iran, israel, hamas and hezbollah, and negatively about saud arabia and trump.
    in qatar told, the nwes agency was hacked, probably by russians. the callad fbi agents for investigation.

    sure is, already weeks befor this news was decided to step a hard move against qatar. after trumps visit the saudis looked such vison of amrican policy (uniete against terroriss, thebiggest threaten is iran, …)that they had a feeling, america supports them fully. they think. good time has come for their powergame. but … maybe, they are wrog.

  • Stephen

    Saudi Arabia directly support Israel. Saudi Arabia is a big threat to the Muslim World. Saudi Arabia decide that a particular Muslim nation what they should have to choose.

    Head chopping and hand chopping are great threats to all Arab nations.

    Now Muslims scare from going to Saudi Arabia for Haj and Umra due to objectionable laws and incidence of cranes and stampedes.

    • Shibumi

      All gulf states support terrorism, Gulf states are the essence of hypocrites, they all finance the construction of mosques in Europe embedding wahabi and Salafist mullahs.

  • Ronald

    Hamas , is Muslim Brotherhood , that is Wahhabi Sunni , and is backed by Qatar .

    Iran is Shia , not part of the Wahhabi “One Way” , Iran’s support of Hamas is solely in principal , as they are seen as an oppressed people .
    Iran backs Hezbollah , which is also Shia .
    In Syria and Iraq , Iranian militias fight with ISIS, (Al Qaeda) , backed by both Saudi and Qatar .

    Oatar and Iran agreeing to cooperate on the export of their natural gas , is the larger factor .
    Money talks , bull , ,it walks

    • Justin Ryan

      Qatar aint backing ISIS no more! its against their interests now! In fact, the ISIS mercenaries they do have under their control will probably start fighting against the US backed forces more to give more head way to the SAA.
      I know this may sound strange but looking at the recent gains since this Qatar news, things have been looking up!
      The tide has turned!

      • Ronald

        I believe you are right , the tide has turned . The gains made on the battle field , are large , and a big well done for SAA . However the gains made in power structure are enormous . Iran allowed one of it’s two major enemies , Qatar , a path out of the ” regime change ” , that was planned by the Saudi’s with US backing . This is a rare display of maturity .

        This should give the royals of Qatar a realization that brotherhood exists beyond Wahhabi Islam . That can alter everything .