Mon Jun 5, 2017 1:15PM
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

Iran's Foreign Ministry has urged Qatar and its neighboring countries in the Persian Gulf to resolve their disputes through diplomacy and explicit dialogue after six Arab states severed diplomatic relations with the gas-rich peninsula and imposed travel and transport blockades on it.

“The solution to differences among regional countries, including the current dispute between Qatar and its three neighboring states, is possible only through political and peaceful methods as well as transparent and explicit dialogue among the involved parties," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

He added that no country in the region and the world would benefit from the escalation of tensions among neighboring states, particularly at a time when both regional and world nations were suffering from the widespread consequences of the spread of terrorism and extremism and the continuation of Palestine’s occupation by the Israeli regime.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran calls on all neighbors involved in the ongoing disputes in south of the Persian Gulf to learn from the bitter experiences in the region…and move toward decreasing tension and restoring peace while exercising restraint,” Qassemi said.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that using sanctions in the current interlinked world was an inefficient and unacceptable move.

He said the maintenance of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent countries and non-interference in their domestic affairs as well as showing respect for recognized international borders were among the fundamental principles of international law, which should be observed by all.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their diplomatic ties and all land, sea and air contacts with Qatar on Monday, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and extremism and interfering in their internal affairs, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years.

Later in the day, Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri said that his country also followed suit with regional allies and cut its diplomatic relations with Qatar. The Maldives and Yemen's former government have also taken a similar step. 

Meanwhile, the so-called Saudi-led "coalition," which is currently involved in a war on Yemen said it was ending Qatar's membership. The measure, it said, was due to Doha's "practices that strengthen terrorism and its support to organizations in Yemen, including al-Qaeda and Daesh, as well as dealing with the rebel militias."

Coercion never the solution: Iran FM

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday stressed the importance of dialogue among the regional countries, particularly during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

“Neighbors are permanent; geography can't be changed. Coercion is never the solution. Dialog is imperative, especially during blessed Ramadan,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account.

Following the unprecedented escalation in regional tensions, the Iranian foreign minister held separate phone calls with his Turkish, Indonesian, Iraqi and Omani counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Retno Marsudi, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Yousef bin Alawi, respectively.

Arab countries’ tensions rooted in US interference: Iran MP

Meanwhile, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Monday that the latest dispute among Arab countries in the region was rooted in US interference, adding that Tehran had always opposed meddling by foreign powers in regional affairs.

“The first outcome of US President Donald Trump's visit to the [Middle East] region was the emergence of divisions among regional countries," Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said.

Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi

Iran has always emphasized that regional issues must be resolved by the countries in the region, he added.

The Iranian legislator reiterated that the interference of foreign countries, particularly the US as a known enemy of Muslim nations, would never lead to the settlement of regional conflicts.

Boroujerdi expressed hope that regional countries would pay heed to the important policy that they, themselves, must solve issues in the region.