Iran's President Raisi arrives in Qatar for regional gas summit

Iran's President Raisi arrives in Qatar for regional gas summit
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Qatar to attend a regional gas conference that will boost political and trade relations with Gulf states.
2 min read
21 February, 2022
The Iranian president was accompanied by a high-level delegation [Getty]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Doha on Monday for a two-day visit to attend a regional gas conference, that is set to boost Tehran's political and trade ties with Arab Gulf states.

Raisi, on his third foreign trip since assuming office, is due to meet with Qatar's emir.

The Iranian president was accompanied by a high-level delegation, which included Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Oil Minister Javad Oji and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Qasemi.

"Iran is one of the founders of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) because we are among the three most important gas producing and exporting countries," Raisi said before leaving Tehran, adding that he will use this opportunity "to strengthen political and economic relations with Gulf neighbours".

Raisi's visit to Doha marked the first by an Iranian president to Qatar in 11 years, and came as Gulf states closely watch indirect US-Iranian talks to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.

Qatar has good ties with Iran, with which it shares a giant gas field.

Iran has faced gas shortages at home due to record highs in consumption, particularly for winter household heating and has had to cut supplies to cement plants and other industries.

Underwater tunnel project 

Iran's official news agency IRNA reported that four major projects will be agreed upon between the two countries, which will include an underwater tunnel project linking Iran and Qatar. 

Iran's ports authority chief executive Ali Akbar Safaei said on Sunday that the undersea tunnel was "one of four major transportation projects" that will be discussed and agreed upon during Raisi's visit to Qatar, IRAN reported. 

"This project is considered a huge transformation for Qatar and the Islamic Republic of Iran as it links the Persian Gulf to the north and to the south and creates an expanded connectivity between West Asian countries and the Caspian Sea all the way to the Mediterranean," Safaei was quoted as saying by IRNA

The tunnel is expected to link Iran's Port of Dayyer in the southern province of Bushehr to Qatar, Safaei said, adding that it will include rail and road infrastructure.