Date
13 December 2017
Iran's Hassan Rouhani (seen here in a file picture) said on Sunday that Tehran will stand with Qatar in the latter's confrontation with some Gulf neighbors. Photo: Reuters
Iran's Hassan Rouhani (seen here in a file picture) said on Sunday that Tehran will stand with Qatar in the latter's confrontation with some Gulf neighbors. Photo: Reuters

Iran’s Rouhani says siege of Qatar ‘unacceptable’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced support for Qatar in its confrontation with Saudi Arabia and its allies, saying a “siege of Qatar is unacceptable”, Reuters reports, citing Iran’s state news agency IRNA.

“Tehran stands with the Qatari nation and government… We believe that if there is a conflict between regional countries, pressure, threats or sanctions are not the right way to resolve differences,” Rouhani is said to have told Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in a telephone call on Sunday.

“The siege of Qatar is unacceptable to us… The airspace, land and sea of our country will always be open to Qatar as a brotherly and neighboring country,” Rouhani said.

The expression of support came after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of support for Islamist militants, an allegation Qatar denies.

The group has since issued 13 demands to Qatar, including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran, shutting a Turkish base and paying reparations.

Doha, whose neighbors have closed their airspace to Qatari flights, has said it was reviewing the list of demands, but said the demands were not reasonable or actionable.

Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia accuse each other of subverting regional security and support opposite sides in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

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RC

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