Iran-Qatar alliance deepens, says Iranian naval official

File photo showing Deputy Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri. (MEHR)
Updated 14 March 2018

Iran-Qatar alliance deepens, says Iranian naval official

LONDON: Qatar is once again seen as veering further toward Iran as the regime in Tehran this week announced its support for the Qatari government, according to media reports.
The Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri, who visited Doha has said Iran is “supportive” of Qatar’s government and citizens, UAE-based the National newspaper reported.
The “ground is ready for development of co-operation with Qatar and we are doing our best to have stronger relations with Doha,” the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ told Iran’s news agency IRNA on Tuesday. The Revolutionary Guard is the primary force behind Iranian military presence in Syria, supporting Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, while Qatar continues to support Syrian opposition.

Iran and Qatar restored full diplomatic relations last summer in defiance of the 13 demands put forward by the Arab quartet comprised of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain – including curbing ties with Iran and closing its diplomatic missions there. The Arab Quartet have voiced concerns about Iran’s military actions in Syria, Yemen and other parts of the Arab world.

The quartet has also demanded that Doha sever all ties to “terrorist organization”, specifically Daesh and Lebanon’s Hezbollah and shut down state owned Al Jazeera, which the quartet says provides a platform for extremists and dissidents.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut transport and diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017 over accusation of its support for extremist groups and interference in the affairs of other countries. Doha denies all allegations.


Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

Updated 3 min 10 sec ago

Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

DUBAI: Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Arabian Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers.
Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his country’s appreciation of the “US role in supporting regional security and stability” during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said.
“The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain’s participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy,” the official Bahrain News Agency reported.
The US has been seeking to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf.
Britain, which already has warships on protection duty in the Gulf after a UK-flagged tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has said it will join the planned operation.
But other European countries have declined to join, for fear of harming European efforts to rescue a 2015 treaty with Iran over its nuclear program.
Bahrain, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, said last month that it would co-host a conference with the US on “maritime and air navigation security,” set for October.
Iran has seized three tankers in strategic Gulf waters since last month, including a British-flagged vessel.
That came after British Royal Marines helped impound a tanker carrying Iranian oil off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar on July 4.
Britain suspected it was destined for Syria in defiance of European Union sanctions, which Iran denies.
The US and its Gulf allies have also accused the Islamic republic of carrying out several mysterious attacks on ships in the region, which Tehran denies.