Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani has said his country, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, would oppose any military attack against Iran. The U.S. Central Command oversees operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.
“The Iranians and the Americans know that Qatar rejects any military action against Iran,” he said in an interview with the Doha-based Al-Jazeera, excerpts of which were broadcast last week
Sheikh Hamad, who also holds the foreign affairs portfolio, said the energy-rich nation will not allow the use of its territory for attacks on the Islamic republic.
“We will not accept, and this is very clear, any act of aggression against Iran (being launched) from Qatar,” he said.
Despite lingering tensions between Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates), Doha has kept close ties with Tehran.
Qatar has also acted several times as mediator between Iran and regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman the Middle said that Iran and al-Qaeda are exploiting political uncertainty in Yemen and the region as a whole to expand their influence.
“Iran operations are similar to those of al-Qaeda,” he told reporters in Sana’a, a day after talks with Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.
“Iran tries to exploit uncertainty and unhappiness in countries of the region,” he said, adding that al-Qaeda was also trying to “exploit opportunities where there is political chaos.”
Feltman said the U.S. views “with concern reports of rising Iranian influence in parts of Yemen,” and that Washington was working with Sana’a and “partners elsewhere in the region to push back against Iranian interference where it occurs.”
Source: AFP; Al-Jazeera