Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called on Europe on Monday to use its influence to promote dialogue in the Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar earlier this month.
Blaming Iran or Qatar for “terrorism” is an attempt by those countries to avoid taking responsibility for their own failures in addressing the demands of their own people, he said in a speech in the German capital in which he argued for a new regional security mechanism for the Gulf countries.
“One day it’s Iran, today it’s Qatar,” he said. “It’s an attempt to evade responsibility, escape accountability for this very fundamental … failure of the state system to address, to respond to the demands of its populus.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has voiced support for Qatar in its confrontation with Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia and its allies who accuse Qatar of supporting extremist militants, an allegation Qatar denies.
Turkey, the most powerful regional player to stand with Qatar, has increased the number of its troops in the base since the crisis erupted. Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armoured vehicles have arrived in Doha since the crisis erupted, along with 100 cargo planes loaded with supplies. Turkey also rushed through legislation to send more troops to the base days after the sanctions were imposed in a show of support.