08/24/2017, 13.10
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Qatar’s salvo to Saudis: Doha relaunches diplomatic relations with Iran

Qatar confirms the return of its diplomatic representative to Tehran. Common goal of strengthening trade and economic issues emerges in a phone call at the foreign ministerial level. Among them, the imposing natural gas field in the Gulf waters. Chad breaks with Doha and accuses Qatar (without evidence) of destabilizing the country.

Doha (AsiaNews) - Qatar has resumed full diplomatic relations with Iran, rejecting the control of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, who insisted on a drastic reduction of relations with Tehran. The Qatar Foreign Ministry has confirmed the return of its ambassador to the Islamic Republic after more than a year and a half.

Doha had recalled the head of diplomacy in Iran following the assault on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Mashad consulate. The violence was triggered by Riyadh's decision to execute dozens of "terrorists" in January 2016, including Shiite dignitary Nimr al-Nimr.

Today a telephone between foreign ministers from Tehran to Doha marked a new beginning in relations. Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, expressed his desire to "strengthen diplomatic relations with Iran's Islamic Republic in all areas." He discussed this with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, deepening the issues of trade and energy.

Qatar and Iran share an impressive natural gas field called South Pars Field by Tehran and North Field by Doha off the coast in the Persian Gulf. For its exploitation, there is a need for constant communication between the two countries and a strengthening of the combined extraction and transport operations.

Analysts and experts point out that Qatar's decision to restore full diplomatic relations with Iran is going to further deteriorate relations with Riyadh and other Gulf nations, that accuse Doha of encroaching on their internal affairs and financing terrorism. According to some, the clash between Qatar and Saudi Arabia originates from the ties between Doha and Tehran, the number one enemy of the Saudis in the region. In reality, the controversy - which also involved the Qatar Al Jazeera satellite channel, which Riyadh wants closed down – masks a counterattack within Sunni Islam and, in particular, between Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Chad has announced the closure of the Qatar embassy in N'Djamena and granted 10 days to diplomatic representation staff to leave the country. The decision comes on the back of the accusation that Doha is "destabilizing" the nation and its government through operations led by neighboring Libya.

"Given the continued intrusions of the State of Qatar in attempting to destabilize Chad through Libya - the Foreign Ministry emphasizes - the government has decided to close the embassy and expel the ambassador and diplomatic staff from national territory" . The N'Djamena leaders have not provided any evidence to back up these allegations but adds that the decision was taken to "safeguard the peace and stability of the region". So far, there has been no official Qatar government reactions to the decision.

Last June, Chad - along with Senegal and Mauritania - had withdrawn its diplomatic representative from Qatar.

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