Qatar’s relationship with Shia-dominated Iran, seen as the major rival to Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia in the Middle East
Turkey and Iran have signed a deal with Qatar to ease the movement of goods between the three countries after almost six months of a Saudi-led blockade on Doha.
Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Business Mohammad Shariatmadari, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Qatari Economy Minister Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani signed the deal in Tehran on Sunday.
The measure would facilitate the process of the transiting goods among the three countries, by tackling obstacles created to economically isolate Doha.
Qatar’s relationship with Shia-dominated Iran, seen as the major rival to Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, is one of the major factors underpinning the crisis between Qatar and its former allies.
In June this year, five Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt announced on Monday to cut all diplomatic relations with fellow Gulf Arab state, Qatar, for allegedly supporting terrorism and extremism.
The Turkish president has been a major supporter of Doha since Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt cut ties and blockaded Qatar on June 5.
Ankara has a military base in Qatar and deployed more troops after the crisis erupted. The closure of the Turkish base was one of 13 demands by the Saudi-led group of countries in order to lift their embargo on Qatar.
Since the crisis erupted, Iran and Turkey whose relations have warmed considerably in recent months have sought to help break Qatar’s isolation, including by increasing food exports to the emirate.
The Saudi led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them, downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences.
Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.