reveal Middle East Institute In the United States, important details regarding the Qatari mediation between the United States and Iran, indicating that Qatar has chosen for itself the arduous task of this mediation.
Political and diplomatic process
The report, prepared by Alex Vatanka, referred to the statements of Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. On February 10 in this regard, pointing out that Doha is working to de-escalate the situation through a political and diplomatic process.
The institute’s report added: “To that end, the Qatari minister recently spoke to US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. And the US special representative for Iran affairs, Robert Malley.
The report continued: “Given Qatar’s small size, it may seem an intriguing option, and the other big competitors to mediate are themselves. Either countries have diplomatic weight. Like Japan or France. Or they have a proven track record in this area, such as Oman, which over recent years has hosted multiple rounds of background talks between the United States and Iran. ”
The report added, “But the Qataris have good reasons to do so. Where it would place any direct conflict between Iran and the United States. Qatar is in the front lines. As it is home to the largest US military base in the Middle East.
The Qataris also had secret intelligence relationships with their Iranian counterparts, unlike many other countries. This is a feature that could be of value to both Iran and the United States, according to the report.
According to the author, it is certain that the relationship between the United States, Iran and Qatar is multidimensional as it is a relationship tested by time.
She added, “In June 2017, the neighboring Arab countries of Qatar imposed a blockade on Doha, where it led Saudi . And the UAE is making efforts to extract concessions from Qatar before the blockade is lifted.
According to the report, among the 13 demands that were submitted, Doha should reduce its relations with Tehran and cut off its cooperation. Military and intelligence with Iran.
The writer added, “But Qatar rejected the demands. Indeed, Qatar’s relations with Iran have strengthened during the period of the blockade, which officially ended. In early January ”.
She added, “Iran has become a source of food and supplies and has opened its airspace and ports to Qatari operators.”
Iran may have emerged as the savior of Qatar in a time of need in the eyes of the outside world, but Doha has ensured a continuation. Its role in confronting Tehran, according to the author.
Fears of neighboring Arab countries
And she continued: “This reluctance has nothing to do with assuaging the fears of neighboring Arab countries, rather it was related to Qatar’s desire to investigate. A delicate balance between her immediate and short term need. To the hand of Iran’s help in exchange for its long-term ambition to make Washington guarantee Qatar’s independence and security.
And she continued, “For example, at a time when the blockade has increased trade between Iran and Qatar during the period 2017-2020. Doha was still reluctant to allow Iranian banks to enter its market. Iranian businessmen complained about the lack of visas.
She added, “It was clear that the Qataris did not want to accuse them of violating US sanctions on Tehran, and the” maximum pressure “campaign led. Launched by President “Donald Trump” to reduce the area of Qatar’s policy towards Iran.
Qatar’s dilemma and priorities
“The Iranians accepted Qatar’s predicament and priorities, and Tehran watched the situation with alarm, but was not surprised when Doha agreed.” On spending $ 1.8 billion to modernize the US military base in Qatar. It later supported the US proposal at the United Nations to extend the arms embargo on Iran. Beyond October 2020. He emphasized all of this for Iran, Qatar’s giving priority to Washington’s interests.
And she continued, “There are two undeniable facts about relations between Iran and Qatar. Firstly; Although relationships. It was never without problems, neither side is interested in turning the other into an outright opponent. ”
And secondly, Doha and Tehran sought to seek mutually beneficial cooperation when opportunities arose, and may be management. Biden, which is looking for ways to talk to Tehran. Including the use of third-party brokers, one of these opportunities.
He added, “Time will tell us what the Qatari foreign minister meant when he said that Doha is” working to calm “tensions between the United States and Iran.”
“It might be the intention of something as simple as providing a forum for diplomatic talks, as Doha has already done. On the diplomatic track between Washington and the Taliban.
Oman is busy
According to the report, perhaps the Sultanate of Oman, which provided such a forum earlier, is currently very busy with its own affairs. The new Omani Sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, is grappling with all kinds of economic challenges at home.
“It is possible that his appetite and scope for acting as a mediator are significantly restricted compared to his predecessor, Sultan Qaboos bin Said,” the report continued.
The report continued: “On the contrary, Qatar, which is one of the richest countries in the world, possesses great financial capacity. To facilitate a diplomatic process between the United States and Iran ”.
He continued, “There is another advantage for Qatar over Oman or other potential mediators, as recent history shows that Doha. It has an active relationship not only with the Foreign Ministry in Tehran. ”
The report added, “but also with the so-called” deep state “of Iran, meaning the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is a state within a state in Iran.
The author added: “The Revolutionary Guard controls Tehran’s regional agenda and its ballistic missile program, two areas. The Biden administration is keen to include them in future talks with the Iranians. ”
“A recent example of Doha’s arrival in the deep state of Iran was evident in 2015 when it was kidnapped. A group of 26 Qataris in Iraq by pro-Iranian militiamen.
And she continued: “It took Qatar for 16 months of negotiations before the Qataris were released, and participated in the negotiations. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards and figures such as “Qassem Soleimani”. Commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, who was later assassinated by the United States in Iraq. ”
In the end, the Qataris were forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom to the kidnappers and were asked to pressure them. On the Sunni opposition groups supported by Qatar in Syria. Which at that time was fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran. ”
The relationship showed the Qatari-Iranian competition and also the ability to conclude deals when necessary, according to the US report.
He continued, “The Biden team certainly has not lost this Qatari record in concluding deals with the Iranian state, including its deep state.”
And he continued, “In fact, this may be the reason behind the mention of Doha as a mediator in the face of Iran and the United States.”
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