Skip to main content


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.


Popular posts from this blog

Why States Still Use Barrel Bombs

Smoke ascends after a Syrian military helicopter allegedly dropped a barrel bomb over the city of Daraya on Jan. 31.(FADI DIRANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Barrel bombs are not especially effective weapons. They are often poorly constructed; they fail to detonate more often than other devices constructed for a similar purpose; and their lack of precision means they can have a disproportionate effect on civilian populations.

However, combatants continue to use barrel bombs in conflicts, including in recent and ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and they are ideally suited to the requirements of resource-poor states.


Barrel bombs are improvised devices that contain explosive filling and shrapnel packed into a container, often in a cylindrical shape such as a barrel. The devices continue to be dropped on towns all over Syria. Indeed, there have been several documented cases of their use in Iraq over the past months, and residents of the city of Mosul, which was recently …

Russia Looks East for New Oil Markets

Click to Enlarge

In the final years of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began orienting his foreign policy toward Asia in response to a rising Japan. Putin has also piloted a much-touted pivot to Asia, coinciding with renewed U.S. interest in the area. A good expression of intent was Russia's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012 in Vladivostok, near Russia's borders with China and North Korea. Although its efforts in Asia have been limited by more direct interests in Russia's periphery and in Europe, Moscow recently has been able to look more to the east.

Part of this renewed interest involves finding new export markets for Russian hydrocarbons. Russia's economy relies on energy exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas exported via pipeline to the West. However, Western Europe is diversifying its energy sources as new supplies come online out of a desire to reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

This has forced…

In Yemen, a Rebel Advance Could Topple the Regime

Shia loyal to the al-Houthi movement ride past Yemeni soldiers near Yaz, Yemen, in May. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)


The success of a rebel campaign in northern Yemen is threatening to destabilize the already weak and overwhelmed government in Sanaa. After capturing the city of Amran, a mere 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital, in early July, the rebels from the al-Houthi tribe are in their strongest position yet. The Yemeni government is developing plans to divide the country into six federal regions, and the rebels believe this is their chance to claim territory for the future bargaining.

The central government is nearly powerless to fend off the rebels; its forces are already stretched thin. Neighboring Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen before and still supports Sunni tribes in the north, but the risk of inciting a Shiite backlash or creating space for jihadists to move in could deter another intervention.


Followers of Zaidi Islam, a branch of Shiism, rul…