Gargash says restoration of full Iran ties 'embarrasses Doha'

Gargash says restoration of full Iran ties 'embarrasses Doha'

Gargash says restoration of full Iran ties 'embarrasses Doha'

Doha recalled its ambassador to Tehran in January 2016 following attacks on Saudi Arabia's embassy in Iran by some demonstrators in protest to Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

The return of al-Sulaiti came after the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that its envoy would "return to resume his diplomatic duties" in Iran.

The latest move is an attempt to strengthen relations with Iran and comes over a year after Qatar severed ties with the country in 2016, following a diplomatic row between Iran and Gulf states.

Responding to the restoration of Iran's ambassador to Qatar, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has accused Qatar of prolonging the Gulf crisis.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, namely the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, broke off relations with Qatar, and enforced a land, sea and air blockade on the tiny Emirate that they accuse of supporting extremist groups and getting closer to Iran.

Since the diplomatic dispute with Arab nations began in June, Iran has sent food shipments to Qatar.

In Washington, State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. remains "very deeply concerned with the status of the dispute" between Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc.

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There was no immediate reaction from the Arab nations boycotting Qatar on its Iran decision.

On Thursday, the Qatari Foreign Ministry accused the African country of joining a "campaign of blackmail" when the Chad government chose to close Qatar's embassy earlier this week.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Heather Nauert told reporters Thursday that the US remains "very deeply concerned with the status of the dispute" between Qatar and the Arab quartet.

Qatar's diplomatic staff were given 10 days to leave. Qatar ignored the demands and let a deadline to comply pass, creating an apparent stalemate in the crisis.

In recent days, however, Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow Qataris to make the annual hajj pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lives.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry in a statement said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani spoke by phone to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

Ulrichsen cautioned that so far, the Saudi moves appeared to be more needling than anything else.

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