UAE reacts angrily to Qatar’s restoration of Iran ties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s state minister for foreign affairs (Photo by AP)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denounced Qatar’s recent decision to restore full diplomatic ties with Iran, accusing Doha of undermining chances to resolve a rift between several Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Qatar.

Following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, Qatar had recalled its ambassador to Tehran last year. Unlike Riyadh, however, Doha had not cut all diplomatic ties with Iran.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced that the Persian Gulf Arab country was upgrading its ties to Iran back to the ambassadorial level.

On Thursday, and in reaction to that news, Emirati State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash questioned the reasoning behind Doha’s move.

Qatar’s “sovereign decision should not be shy or confused, but its arrogance and adolescent behavior makes it so. Its justification is not convincing,” he said in angry tweets.

“The management of the crisis caused the burning of bridges, the squandering of sovereignty and the deepening of the Qatari crisis and undermined what remained of the mediator’s chances,” he snapped.

Gargash’s country has, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt, cut its relations with Qatar and attempted to boycott the country.

Since June, the countries have also imposed a trade embargo on Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism.” Doha rejects the allegation and suggests it is being targeted because it has been following foreign policies that are more independent of Saudi Arabia.

The boycotting countries later issued a list of demands for Qatar to meet in order for the dispute to be resolved. One of those demands was that Qatar further downgrade ties with Iran. Doha rejected all of those requests and said they showed how the accusation of “terror” sponsorship had been just a pretext.

Soon after the dispute erupted among the Arab countries, Iran announced that its position was one of neutrality, making it clear that it would not be using the rift for political scores.

As the Saudi-led siege threatened to cause shortages of food and vital goods in Qatar, Iran started sending shipments of foodstuffs to the Arab country on humanitarian grounds, as did a number of other countries.

The Islamic Republic has now welcomed Qatar’s recent move to restore high-level diplomatic ties with Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s principled and permanent policy has been and will be enhancing relations with all its neighbors,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said after the Qatari announcement.

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