Qatar calls for dialogue between Iran and Arab neighbors

June 6, 2021 - 20:38

TEHRAN – Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has expressed readiness to facilitates talks between Iran and some of Iran’s Arab neighbors.

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, the Qatari foreign minister said there is a need for a regional security framework between Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“We believe it’s important that we have the leadership of such a dialogue and not leave it for other countries,” he said. “We appreciate and respect (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) to be part of this, to be (a) supporter for this, but the core of this dialogue should be handled by the GCC and Iran.”

Al Thani also said that Qatar is ready to facilitate talks between Iran and the U.S.

(The) U.S. is a strategic ally for Qatar, and we want to maintain this strategic alliance,” he said. On the other hand, Iran is “our next-door neighbor, and we want to see stability over there.”

He said Qatar would be willing to facilitate discussions if asked.

“Right now, we are just conveying the message for both parties to … be more positive and more constructive in engaging with each other, and to reach a deal as soon as possible,” he said.

Al Thani has been calling for dialogue between Iran and the GCC for a while. In late May, he expressed support for a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. He told Al Arabiya at that time that his country urges both Iran and the U.S. to return to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Our relationship with the U.S. government is moving in the direction of a strategic partnership. We urge Washington and Tehran to return to the JCPOA and assist in holding the negotiations,” he said, according to ISNA.

He added, “The member states of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) must play a role in the regional security equation with Iran, and this will not be achieved except through regional talks.”

In early May, the Qatari foreign minister said that in separate contacts with the U.S. and Iranian governments, Doha is urging both sides to take an effective approach to advancing negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We have strong and strategic relations with Washington and good relations with Iran, and we do not want tensions to increase, which will have a negative impact on Qatar and the region,” Al-Thani said.

He said that there were ongoing contacts with the United States and Iran, and Qatar encourages them to participate in the negotiations effectively.

Qatar also called for a dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia, calling such a dialogue a constructive step toward regional stability.

“We welcome any dialogue or efforts and a positive spirit related to relations between Iran and the [Persian] Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, and we support such efforts and believe that dialogue is a constructive step toward the stability of the region,” the chief Qatari diplomat said in an interview with Al Jazeera in early May.

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