A recent visit to Doha by Iranian foreign minister aimed at boosting the ties between Iran and Qatar on multiple sections. The two countries share political and security interests and have similar regional adversaries.
14 agreements have been the outcomes of the Iranian president’s two-day visit to Qatar in recent days. Ebrahim Raisi was also in Qatari capital to participate in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) on Monday.
Along with Raisi, Owji, Iranian oil minister, and Amirabdollahian, the foreign minister attended the forum. “Bilateral relations and trade, economy, energy, culture and especially investment issues were discussed in the meetings with the Qatari emir and officials,” Iranian president said in remarks after returning to Iran yesterday.
The two nations’ free trade zone officials inked an accord on economics and commercial partnerships. Besides, the Iranian Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and its Qatari counterpart have reached another deal.
A tourist pact, a deal on sports and youth, and an academic partnership were also part of the agreements. The agreements culminated in a n energy arrangement between the two countries’ energy headquarters in electrical sector.
Marine transit and port administrations treaties were among the three accords on ports and maritime activities. A third agreement was on a plan to build an undersea tunnel connecting Iran and Qatar.
Two more contracts dealt with cultural and media issues. A first one was a pact for cultural collaboration, and the other outlined coordination in TV and radio broadcasting. Finally, the two sides finalized three accords on consulate and embassy interaction.
The first political agreement concerns diplomatic visa exemptions. Another involves political exchanges between the two nations on subjects of mutual concern. Finally, a third accord focuses on political training and development covering research circles of political offices in Tehran and Doha.
Iran and Qatar; Formation of New Regional Allies
Iranian president also visited a group of Qatari international investors and entrepreneurs. Raisi proposed the establishment of a combined business center in Qatari capital to promote bilateral investment.
The heads of two states also talked about the Vienna negotiations aimed at reviving nuclear accord with international powers. Doha, like before, voiced its support for Iran’s negotiating stance. The two sides talk about other regional topics of mutual importance like Lebanon and Palestine.
Following Saudi Arabian-led political crackdown on Qatar back in 2017, the Iran and Qatar developed ties under shared interests. Following a series of political and media disputes, Saudi Arabia, along with three other Arab states, boycotted Qatar.
The Quartet, as the four countries were called, imposed harsh political and economic sanctions on Doha. Early in 2021, Saudi Arabia shifted policies on multiple regional fronts including ties with Doha. Losing Trump administration’s all-out support, Riyadh lessened some hardline policies concerning countries like Qatar, Yemen, and even Iran.
The strategic shift of policies by Saudi Arabia, however, failed to distance Qatar from Iran. Since last year, the two countries maintained their ties, making steprs to boost it at multiple sectors.
“These agreements must be implemented. My colleagues in the government will follow up on this and Qatar’s emir also tasked his top officials to quickly pursue implementation of these agreements,” Iranian president said following the latest visit. The remarks indicate Iran and Qatar’s determination to follow the route making new political dynamics in the region.
Iran’s imminent nuclear agreement with world powers can further reinforce Iran political agenda in the Middle East. Tehran can attract more allies against arch-rival like Saudi Arabia. Combined with Qatari economic and commercial weight in the region, Iran and Qatar may prove decisive in future developments.
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