Iran says Yes to the Gulf and No to Europe and the US

By Elijah J. Magnier:

Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its failure to achieve its objectives, a new era starts in the Middle East after decades of wars, with the US-Iran indirect negotiation taking place in Qatar. The choice of the country is highly significant. It carries several messages mainly because the Middle East has observed one of the hottest struggles between the US and Iran since the “Islamic Republic” took control of the country. The meeting in the Gulf is an Iranian message to the west that the Middle Eastern nations can solve their problems among themselves, without menace or military solution and can use diplomacy effectively.

Indeed, it is far from a coincidence that talks can be held between two sworn enemies that have been at war since 1979. The animosity between the two countries is far from ending. However, it is expected to slow down until they sign the nuclear deal, a deal that can be potentially revoked or modified by any US president now and in the future.

Doha worked discretely for a long time between the two countries in an attempt to remove the differences or at least find common ground. The Qatar Emir Tamim Ben Hamad Al-Thani travelled to Tehran last month and met with the Iranian leaders to soften the unsolved issues related to the nuclear deal and between Iran and the other Gulf countries. The Gulf-Israel relationship created a tense situation among Middle Eastern countries, mainly when Israel leaked information about meetings between Israeli and Arab officials to counter Iran. Also, the talks about the “Arab NATO” and worrisome information about Israeli missiles deployed in the Emirates and Bahrein were denied by the Gulf countries concerned, who sent a positive message to Iran via different channels, including Qatar and Iraq.

Iran received all these messages as an indication that the Gulf countries do not intend to escalate. Iran was engaged in a deal with Saudi Arabia where both Foreign Ministers were supposed to meet a few weeks ago and reopen their respective embassies. The postponing of these two already agreed steps was a sign that Saudi Arabia was taking its time before moving to the normalisation of diplomatic relations with Iran that had been suspended since 2016.In 2017, Iran supported Doha, providing food and permitting Qatari aircraft and ships to access its territory to bypass the blockade when Saudi Arabia declared years of the embargo on Doha. Also, Tehran announced repeatedly that Qatar is a “friendly country”. Moreover, unlike Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, Qatar has supported the 2015 nuclear deal and has 

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Proofread by: Marice Brasher