Qatar Calls for Peaceful Solution to Regional Tensions
EghtesadOnline: Qatar's foreign minister described the current situation in the region as "sensitive and worrying" following the United States' killing of the top Iranian commander, calling for a peaceful solution to reduce tensions.
Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani who arrived in Tehran on Saturday made the remark in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, before holding talks with President Hassan Rouhani, ISNA reported.
The situation in the region has seen a rapid escalation over the past week, as a result of rising frictions between Tehran and Washington over militia activity in Iraq, Financial Tribune reported.
The US killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, in a strike on Friday, accusing him of preparing to attack Americans in Iraq and the Middle East.
It claimed the attack was carried out with the aim of protecting American personnel abroad and deterring future Iranian attack plans.
Washington had earlier launched airstrikes against the Iran-allied Kataib Hezbollah militia bases on Sunday, blaming the group for killing an American civil contractor in a rocket attack on a coalition military base.
Iraqi militiamen stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday to protest against the US air raid in which about 25 fighters were killed.
US President Donald Trump said afterwards that Iran would be held accountable for lives lost or damage incurred in attacks on any US facilities, threatening that Iran will pay a very "big price".
Iranian officials have strongly condemned the assassination of Soleimani as an act of crime, pledging to wreak a harsh revenge for killing a commander who had played a key role in combating and defeating terrorist groups in the region, including the self-styled Islamic State.
Zarif referred to the measure as terrorism, holding the US responsible for its consequences.
"Iran does not seek tension in the region while the presence and intervention of foreign [and extra-regional] forces will cause instability, insecurity and heightened tension in our volatile region," he said.
The foreign minister also had phone conversations with his counterparts from several countries and discussed the latest developments at the regional and international level following the martyrdom of Soleimani.
He held talks with Wang Yi, the foreign minister of China, which has friendly ties with Iran and has remained its major trade partner despite the sanctions reimposed on Tehran following the US exit from the 2015 nuclear deal last year.
He also reviewed the situation with the Russian top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, who extended his condolences to the Iranian government and people over the death of General Soleimani.
Russia was also a party to Iran's landmark nuclear deal and stood by the country after the US unilaterally abandoned it.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister of Turkey that borders both Iraq and Iran, also expressed his condolences in a phone call with Zarif.