Unlike most other Persian Gulf states, Qatar has continued to support the Iran nuclear deal, distancing itself from the anti-Iranian axis of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran Press/Middle East: “Our position on the Iran deal is that, like the Europeans, we support it,” Qatar’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said.

“We do not want a nuclear arms race in our region, and that is the danger,” Qatar foreign minister noted in an interview with The Guardian. 

He insisted this did not mean his country had now, as some claimed, formed a new axis with Iran and Turkey.

“Our geography is difficult. We have sided with no one. It’s not easy to be a facilitator for talks between adversaries," Qatar foreign minister added.

“If you look at the core of the issue, the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council [the six-member group of Persian Gulf States] needs to reach an understanding with Iran, not just Saudi Arabia and Iran – all of us are living in the same neighborhood and we need to reach an understanding. That was the common position of the PGCC countries until 2017, but the boycott changed everything,” Qatar foreign minister said.

On Feb. 17, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani expressed his gratitude over Iran's support for his country during embargo imposed by some Arab nations.

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Qatari FM: Qatar is grateful for Iran's support against its embargo

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAEBahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha denies. Iran and Turkey are helping wealthy Qatar to overcome the Saudi-led boycott.

Commerce between Iran and Qatar is increasing, Tehran said recently that trade had risen by $250 million in the 12 months to March as Doha becomes more reliant upon Iranian imports such as food products. 101/211/201

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