Iran Welcomes Any Positive Step by Neighbors to Boost Ties: Spokesman
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi confirmed reports on Qatar’s decision to reinstate its ambassador to Iran and said the Islamic Republic welcomes any “constructive and positive step” taken by its neighbors to boost bilateral relations.
Qassmei said on Thursday that during a telephone conversation between the foreign ministers of Iran and Qatar Wednesday night, the issue of Doha’s willingness to return its ambassador to Tehran was raised.
“We welcome the Qatari government’s (planned) measure,” the spokesman added.
“As we have repeatedly declared, developing relations with all neighbors has been and will be the principled and permanent policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he stressed.
Iran “has always welcomed and hailed any constructive and positive step taken by neighbors to improve and promote mutual relations,” Qassemi went on to say.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said its envoy would "return to resume his diplomatic duties", as Doha seeks to improve relations in all areas with the Islamic Republic.
The statement did not mention any more details including the ambassador's name or the exact time of his return to Tehran.
However, it said that Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has discussed "mutual ties and ways of reinforcing and developing them" in a phone call with his Iranian opposite number Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The decision to elevate relations with the Islamic Republic comes amid a diplomatic rift between Qatar and several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
The Arab countries allied with Saudi Arabia blame Doha of interfering in the domestic affairs of other states and sponsoring terrorism, an accusation Qatar has rejected as “groundless”.
The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Persian Gulf War, has seen the Arab nations cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major US military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Doha has been receiving fresh food supplies from the Iran, which has also allowed Qatar’s national carrier to use its airspace.