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EghtesadOnline: In a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani on Monday, top leaders of Qatar and Iraq expressed willingness to expand ties with Iran and voiced opposition to any measure that could heighten tensions in the Middle East.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Doha is ready to develop wide-ranging relations with Tehran, calling for the implementation of previous agreements reached between the two countries.

Rouhani described Tehran-Doha relations as friendly, improving and beneficial for the two nations and other regional states, saying their high potentials should be used to foster broader cooperation, his website reported. 

"There is no obstacle to improving the two countries' cooperation in political and economic areas," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

He also expressed Iran's readiness to help restore peace to the region, hoping that challenges would be addressed through diplomatic talks. 

"We want international relations to be governed by moderation and rationality," he said. 

The Qatari Emir agreed that conflicts in the region should be resolved through dialogue. 

"Qatar is strongly opposed to any move that would increase regional insecurity," he said.



Destabilizing Force 

Rouhani pointed to the illegal policies of the United States, warning of their negative effects on regional countries. 

"The ultimate goal of the US in imposing restrictions on Iran's oil exports is to create instability in the region," he said, calling for political cooperation among friendly states to help preserve security and stability in the sensitive Persian Gulf region.

The US has taken a series of hostile measures against Iran since its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal last year, including sanctions on Iran's key oil sector.  

Sheikh Thani also thanked Tehran for its support during Doha's hard times, saying the Arab nation will never forget Iran’s kindness. 

During Qatar’s diplomatic crisis, when Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies blocked Qatar economically, Iran provided diplomatic and economic support to the country.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and banned Qatari airplanes and ships from entering their airspace and sea routes, with Saudi Arabia blocking the only land crossing. 

Iran sent food supplies to Qatar on a daily basis and announced that its airspace was open to Qatari aircraft.



Longstanding Relations 

In a separate phone conversation, Iraqi President Barham Salih said Tehran-Baghdad relations rest on the foundations of historical and cultural bonds and the two nation's shared interests, noting that his government is determined to develop mutual ties. 

"Our efforts at improving bilateral relations based on our good agreements are the least we can do to serve our countries and nations," he said.

Iran and Iraq have signed a series of agreements for cooperation in various sectors during reciprocal visits by their top officials over the past year. 

Rouhani said the deals are valuable steps for rapidly developing bilateral ties. He also called on regional states to recognize the sensitivity of the current conditions and work together to prevent the US from bullying to destabilize the region. 

Salih said Iraq is opposed to any tension in the region and will never approve of any move to inflict the smallest harm on the neighboring Muslim people of Iran.


Iran Hassan Rouhani Iraq Qatar Tehran Ties Regional Tension tensions in the Middle East