On Sunday, both Iranian president Dr. Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counter-part Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Riyadh’s 13 demands to lift siege of Qatar by US-Israel Arab allies (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain).
Both leaders lauded Qatari Emir’s courage to reject the ridiculous Saudi demands including breaking of dialogues with Iranian government and closing down the Turkish military base under construction near Doha.
Erdogan after Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-breaking) prayers in Ankara on Sunday told reporters that he will never pull Turkish personnel from Qatar and if needed, Turkish soldiers will defend Qatar against foreign aggression. He described the list of 13 demands issued by the four Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain) as “shameful, and unlawful intervention against Qatar’s sovereignty.”
“If Saudi Arabia fears Turkish base in Qatar, a step to redress this fear also can be taken by establishing a military base in Saudi Arabia. I made this offer to the Saudi King himself and he said he will consider it,” Erdogan said.
Both Tehran and Ankara are sending humanitarian aid such as foodstuff and water to the besieged Arab neighbor Qatar.
On June 26, Craig Murray, British author, Scotland independence activist and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, commented on the Saudi-Qatar conflict at his blog, saying, “Saudi claim that its sanctions on Qatar are over latter’s support for terrorism is ludicrous.”
“Mohammed Bin Salman was appointed by his father the King as Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia on 21 June. Bin Salman has been directing the major affairs of the state for the last three years. The ferocity of the prosecution of the war in Yemen is very much his baby. Bin Salman’s master plan, which he has driven through with much skill, is for a far more aggressive Saudi Arabia leading the conservative forces in the Middle East, above all in fierce opposition to Iran and Shia interests. To this end he has forged a conservative alliance incorporating Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and the United States,” said Craig Murray.
“US and UK involvement in the war in Yemen goes beyond the enthusiastic supply of the bombs and aircraft which have killed thousands of children. Both have had special forces on the ground, and the CIA has yet again been deeply implicated in the detention, extreme torture and murder of opponents,” Craig added.
“I do not hold up Qatar or its ruling aristocracy as a paragon of virtue. But it seeks a more pacific relationship with Iran, and has more developed economic relationships including on shared offshore fields. Qatar has also consistently shown greater interest in the plight of the Palestinians, and more skepticism towards Israel, than Bin Salman is happy with. Qatar also has problems with the brutal military dictatorship of Egypt,” Craig said.
Professor Farhang Jahanpour (University of Oxford) in a recent interview with Tehran Times advised Iran, Turkey and Egypt to set aside their political differences in order save the the region from chaos and destruction.