Qatar announces return of ambassador to Iran

Qatar announces return of ambassador to Iran
2 min read
24 August, 2017
Qatar says it will return its ambassador to Iran, 20 months after Doha broke diplomatic ties with Tehran.
Qatar will restore ties with Iran after a 20 month break [Anadolu]
Qatar is set to return its ambassador to Tehran and strengthen relations with Iran, Doha's foreign ministry announced early Thursday.

It comes 20 months after diplomatic relations between the two counties were cut following a diplomatic row between Iran and Gulf states.

Doha recalled it ambassador from Tehran in January 2016, after a diplomatic embargo on Shia-majority Iran was announced by a number of Arab states.

It came after Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashahd were attacked by Iranian protesters angered about Riyadh's execution of a popular Shia cleric.

Since then relations between Doha and Tehran improved after Iran sent essential supplies to Qatar following a Saudi-led blockade on the Gulf state in June.

"Qatar announced that its ambassador to Tehran will return to resume his diplomatic duties," the ministry said on its website.

The ministry of foreign affairs added that Qatar was looking to strengthen relations with Iran "in all fields".

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani spoke with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif about "bilateral relations and means of boosting and developing them", the ministry reported.

The two countries moved closer after a Saudi-led bloc of Arab nations enforced a blockade on Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of "backing terrorists" and having close ties with Iran - charges which Doha vehemently denies.

Iran flew in food supplies to the emirate, after Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states cut road and air links to Qatar.

Qatar and Iran have been on opposing sides in the Syria war. Tehran is a strong backer of Bashar al-Assad, pouring in tens of thousands of pro-regime fighters into Syria, while Qatar has backed rebel groups.