FRENCH PRESS AGENCY – AFP
Iran said Wednesday it hopes to have good relations with arch-rival Saudi Arabia and its allies, and called for an end to their bitter dispute with Gulf neighbor Qatar.
Riyadh broke off relations with Tehran in 2016 after protesters angry at its execution of a top Shiite cleric torched its diplomatic missions in Iran.
The following year the kingdom and its allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed a trade and travel boycott on Qatar, demanding that it mirror their hardline policies towards Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We have extremely good relations with Qatar, Kuwait, Oman,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, referring to the two Gulf Arab countries which remained neutral in the dispute.
“We hope to have the same type of relations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Doha.
“We also hope that countries within the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) could resolve their differences peacefully.
“We were against pressure on Qatar, we still believe that pressure on Qatar is against international law.”
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have repeatedly accused Qatar of posing a threat to Gulf security through its support for “extremism”.
Doha has consistently denied the allegation accusing its former allies of seeking a pretext for regime change.
In April, Qatar said it filed three lawsuits in London and New York against Saudi and UAE banks for allegedly plotting to undermine its currency and bonds.
Qatar has already taken legal action against Saudi Arabia and its allies before the International Court of Justice, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Trade Organization.
Meanwhile Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani called for a “dialogue” between Iran and the United States to resolve the crisis between their countries.
Referring to a spate of US sanctions against Tehran, he said “we urge the parties of the crisis, Iran and the United States, to sit around the table and find sustainable solutions… because the region can’t bear more crises”.