Iran Urges Restraint after Several Arab States Cut Ties with Qatar
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi expressed Tehran’s concern over a decision by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on Monday to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, calling on the Arab states to exercise restraint.
In a statement released on Monday, Qassemi urged the four Arab states to resolve the tensions through “direct and transparent” talks instead of severing diplomatic ties.
“At a time when the (Middle East) region and the world are still suffering from broad consequences of terrorism and extremism and the continued occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime, the escalation of tensions in relations between neighboring countries is not in the interest of any regional nations or governments,” he said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran calls on all the neighbors involved in the current disputes in the southern Persian Gulf region to learn lessons from the past bitter experiences of the region… show utmost restraint and move toward reducing tensions and returning to tranquility,” the spokesman added.
Bahrain was the first state to make an announcement about severing diplomatic ties with Qatar. According to the official statement published by the Bahrain News Agency, Manama's move has been motivated by what it called Doha's persisting attempts to destabilize the situation in Bahrain.
"Due to the insistence of the State of Qatar in further destabilizing security and stability in the Kingdom of Bahrain and interference in its affairs, continuing the escalation and incitement media and supporting armed terrorist activities… the Kingdom of Bahrain announces the severance of diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar," the statement read.
Bahrain gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the territory of the kingdom. Also, Manama suspended air and sea communication with Doha and banned citizens of Qatar from visiting Bahrain, and prohibited its citizens from living and visiting Qatar.
Minutes later, Riyadh, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi made similar statements while Saudi Arabia and Egypt also suspended air and sea communication with Qatar.
"The Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the continued hostility of the Qatari authorities towards Egypt," the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.
Simultaneously, the Saudi-led coalition has announced the cancellation of the Qatari participation in the military operation in Yemen citing Doha's support of al-Qaeda and Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terror groups.