Qatari emir arrives in Tehran to help diffuse US-Iran tensions
Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani arrived in the capital Sunday to ease tensions between Iran and the United States, a few days after Tehran’s retaliatory strikes against two military bases in Iraq housing American troops heightened tensions between the two arch foes.
Qatar is close to the US and hosts Washington’’s largest military base in the region, but it also enjoys strong ties with Tehran, with which it shares the world’’s largest gas field. Sheikh Tamim arrived in the Iranian capital around midday.
The emir was scheduled to meet with President Hassan Rouhani in the afternoon, it is reported. Qatar’’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani reportedly called for a peaceful solution that would lead to de-escalation during a visit to Tehran in the immediate aftermath of the US strike on January 3. “Yes it’’s confirmed,” an official at Qatar’’s Government Communications Office said, adding that Sheikh Tamim was flying to Iran for what is believed to be his first official visit to the Islamic republic, following a stop in Oman.
Sheikh Tamim left Doha for Muscat on Sunday morning “to offer condolences on the death of Sultan Qaboos”, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported.
Tamim’s visit to the country follows Iran’s retaliatory strike against two bases in Iraq that house US troops. Tehran said the attack was revenge for the US drone strike ordered by President Trump that killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week.