On Monday, Saudi ‘royals’ severed ties with tiny Qatar monarchy over latter’s friendly relations with Iran and Gaza ruling Hamas. Saudi move was followed by it petro-dollar clients Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Libya, and Maldives. Saudi Arabia and its client regimes also moved to cut off land, sea and air routes to Qatar.
Qatar shares border only with Saudi Arabia. Qatar is energy-rich but heavily reliant on food and other essential supplies that are brought via Saudi territory in by trucks. Iran has offered to export food and nutrient to Qatar by sea as residents rush to stock supplies.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Riyadh to resolve its dispute with Qatar through political dialogue.
Last year, Qatar recalled its ambassador from Tehran to please the Saudi ‘royals’. But recent months have seen Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani go against Riyadh’s wishes by warming up to Tehran. In a conversation with Iranian president Dr. Hassan Rouhani last week, Al-Thani said he wanted bilateral liaisons to be stronger than ever.
The Qatari Emir is the only Gulf ruler who dared to visit Gaza in October 2012 and held talks with prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was the force behind the split between Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in January 2012. Meshaal left Damascus and took residence in Doha. On September 25, 1997 Israeli Mossad agents had tried to assassinate Khaled Meshaal in Amman, Jordan.
On Monday, Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman and opposition leader Isaac Herzog couldn’t hide their pleasure over the Gulf crisis – calling Qatar a pain in Israeli butts for some times.
The Gulf crisis could bring Qatar closer to Iran and Turkey. Both countries supported democratically elected president Morsi who was removed from power and put in jail after a military coup supported by the US and Israel.
Donald Trump who just sucked over US$400 billion from Saudi ‘royals’ in arms sales and building infrastructure deals by bashing Iran, refused to break-off ties with Qatar – and for good reasons. Qatar host America’s largest Air Force base in the region at Al Udeid which was built by the Qatar ‘royals’ at the cost of US$1 billion in the 1990s. The base is home to 11,000 US army personnel and 100 jet fighters with strike-range up to Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, an Iranophobe, has urged Gulf states to stay united to fight the Axis of Resistance (Iran-Syria, Iraq and Hizbullah).
Saudi Arabia has expelled Qatar from the Saudi-led Arab alliance fighting anti-Israel Shi’ite Houthi government in Yemen.
Qatar is the only Gulf state which allows its citizen to practice several Jewish Values such as open bars, prostitution, tolerance toward LGBT community and no restriction on women to cover their bodies in public.
Craig Murray, writer, author and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who spoke at Doha Forum last year commented on June 5, 2017: “What is really behind this blockade against Qatar is an attack on another aspect of its liberalism. Qatar is unenthusiastic about the USA-Israel-Saudi de facto alliance, which has already been in evidence for a couple of years, and which the Trump mission to the Middle East looked to turbocharge. Qatar refused to endorse the overthrow of Egypt’s democratically elected President by the CIA-backed military coup of General Sisi. Qatar also has deep reservations about the Saudi Wahhabist mission to spread sectarian war against the Shia across the Middle East. Qatar further deserves praise because the plight of the Palestinians is a far higher priority for Doha than it is for Riyadh. The Saudis have no problem with selling out the Palestinians completely to secure their own standing with the Western elites and further their rivalry with Iran.”