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.