Qatar Can Connect to Outside World through Iran: Analyst

A senior political analyst has highlighted Iran’s geopolitical significance for Qatar, saying Tehran is more useful to Doha than any other regional state.

“Iran can provide Qatar with a golden opportunity to have access to new routes which can connect the Arab country to the outside world,” said Sabah Zanganeh, a former Iranian envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Iran enjoys great a geopolitical location due to its access to water and air borders. This makes Iran more important for Qatar compared with other countries like Turkey. Qatar can directly connect to the outside world through Iran,” he added, speaking in a Farsi interview with the Iranian Diplomacy website.

He stressed that Qatar needs to expand its ties with Iran under the current pressure from Saudi Arabia and a number of Arab states including Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain.

He added that the Islamic Republic of Iran is seeking to establish good-faith relations with the neighbouring states amid the current diplomatic crisis in the region.

Zanganeh referred to the current diplomatic crisis in the region between Doha and a number of Arab states under the leadership of Saudi Arabia and said Qatar is a leading country among Iranian neighbours due to its joint gas fields with Iran which are significantly strategic.

“So, the Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in easing the current tensions in the region and establish good-faith relations with the regional states to prevent certain countries from imposing their hegemony on the whole region,” he added.

The expert went on saying that expanding bilateral relations with Qatar provides Iran with an opportunity to take advantages of the current opportunities in the region.

Zangeneh referred to the severance of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia following an attack on Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and, said, “Iran should seize any opportunity to restore its ties with the regional states.”

The Iranian analyst went on saying that the two sides can expand their ties based on mutual respect and taking into account the joint economic interests.

He referred to the animosity of some Arab states with Qatar over its decision to reopen its embassy in Tehran and said Iran and Qatar should publicly announce that reopening of diplomatic mission in Tehran does not necessarily mean that the two countries are hatching conspiracy against others.

“Meanwhile, Tehran can mediate between the conflicting sides by preparing the ground for their talks to tackle the current crisis,” he said.

Zanganeh referred to the functions of the {Persian} Gulf Cooperation Council and said the council is expected to suffer serious damages in future because it is based on rivalry instead of cooperation among the regional states.

He said the Council would collapse in future unless a dramatic decision is made by its members to change their approach towards the regional developments.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran insists on cooperation with regional states in various fields. Rivalry has no room any more in today’s diplomacy. That’s why Iran must seek to establish coalition with other states,” he added.

 

The [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council is expected to suffer serious damages in future because it is based on rivalry instead of cooperation among the regional states.

 

The expert referred to Iran’s diplomacy in dealing with the regional issues and said the Islamic Republic has based its diplomacy on the expansion of cooperation instead of rivalry or making coalitions against other countries.

“All diplomatic relations should be based on cooperation and development instead of rivalry and violence. Making coalitions against each other only contributes to war and regional tensions,” he said.

The Iranian expert also referred to the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia and said today the Arab kingdom has changed its aggressive policies.

“The recent statements of some Saudi officials on relations with Iran reveal that they have reached a logical conclusion about Iran’s role in the region,” he said.

Iran should take full advantage of the current opportunities, he said, adding that Tehran has no discriminatory approach towards regional states and is seeking to establish good-faith relations with all of them including Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, and Afghanistan and so on.

Zanganeh said political talks can remove any problem provided that the conflicting sides have the political will to resolve their crises.

He called on the Arab states to have a realistic evaluation of the regional tensions with Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to the international principle of avoiding interference in the internal affairs of other countries. This means that the regional states should realize the fact that Iran is not seeking to meddle in their internal affairs.”

“Meanwhile, Iran has never been after a regional hegemony or imposing its agenda on other states,” he said, adding that with these points in mind, the regional states would come to this conclusion that Iran is a good regional partner.

The Middle East expert also referred to the chaos created by terrorist groups in the region and said, “I believe that we can restore stability to the region.”

“Tehran and Doha have shown that they are seeking to restore peace to the region. In Syria, Iran has done its best to tackle the crisis through diplomatic ties and expanding de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.”

“Today, we see that the current achievements in Syria have been made only through political talks in Vienna and Astana. I think we can use the talks to tackle the problems in Iraq, Yemen and Palestine. Only through peaceful means, we can hope to  have a stable and secure region,” he said.

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