Tehran eyes improved ties with Saudi Arabia

Casey Dawson
August 28, 2017

In July, Qatar's finance minister boasted that the emirate is far too rich to be concerned about a trade blockade from its former allies. Saudi state media said that came in part due to an intercession by Qatari royal family member Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, who met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and later a vacationing King Salman in Morocco.

"As the foreign ministry [Zarif] earlier declared, promoting cooperation and prioritizing the enhancement of all-out ties with neighbouring countries will be one of our basic or "super" priorities in foreign policy during President Rouhani's new term in office", added the spokesman. Qatar has rejected the accusations, calling them "unjustified" and "baseless". Kuwait, Turkey and the United States have all urged a political solution as the bloc isolates Qatar using various ad hoc sanctions, including shutting down their airspace to Qataris and blocking import routes. Doha said the statements were fabricated and disseminated via a hack. Qatar has been under blockade for almost three months Credit: REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo The act of defiance came amid suspicions among Qatar's leaders that Saudi Arabia might be trying to engineer a palace coup against its emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Qatar pulled its ambassador from Iran in early 2016 after Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric sparked attacks on two Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran, a move to show solidarity with the kingdom.

Qatar has restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, disregarding the demands of Arab nations that it lessen its ties to Tehran.

It added that Doha wanted to strengthen ties in all fields with Iran. They alleged that Doha was supporting and financing terrorists, which was vehemently denied by Qatar.

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Qatar's Foreign Ministry announced on August 24 that its ambassador would "return to resume his diplomatic duties", without specifying an exact date for the ambassador's return or providing his name.

On his return from Saudi Arabia, Sadr renewed calls for the dismantling of armed groups, a stance which "makes him particularly attractive to KSA/UAE", Fanar Haddad, a research fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute said.

Zarif also expressed hope that the officials in Saudi Arabia would adopt "rational" policies towards Syria and Bahrain.

He blamed Qatar for mismanaging the crisis and prolonging it.

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