ANALYSIS: Qatar following Iran’s policy of interference in the region’s crises
Qatar’s policies of continuing its relations with countries undermining the security of the region have aggravated the crises in the region, especially its relations with organizations classified as terrorist groups in the Gulf, like the Hezbollah militia.
Doha’s interference is similar to Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of several countries.
In Qatar’s case, its interference through its many positions on various regional issues are on record at various points in time and have contributed to the escalation of regional crises and deterioration of ties with the other Gulf countries.
Regarding the Palestinian case, Doha supported the Hamas coup against the Palestinian Authority, thus deepening the Palestinian division. It has also highlighted its relations with Israel, although the latter considered Hamas as a terrorist organization.
In the Syrian crisis, the support of Qatar was clear as it helped extremist organizations like al-Nusra front (currently known as Jafash) with money, weapons and media exposure. On this, Qatar went against the moderate opposition in Syria.
Qatar’s support for al-Nusra Front has cast a shadow over Doha’s role as a mediator between al-Nusra and Hezbollah in the liberation of Lebanese soldiers three years ago.
The Emir of Qatar described Hezbollah as a “resistance movement”, going clearly against the Gulf unified stance that classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Moreover, Qatar did not hide its support for the Muslim Brotherhood. It welcomed its fugitive members and took a public stance against the Egyptian government that came into power after overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Contradictory role in Yemen
Qatar is also playing a contradictory role in Yemen, in terms of its participation in the operation Decisive Storm and supporting the legitimate government in public, while at the same time, supporting the Houthi militias and their allies in secret. Supporting the militias in Yemen comes within the framework of Qatar’s cooperation with Iran, helping the latter survive till now in Yemen.
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In a related context, Qatar has recently called for a review of relations with Iran, “as it represents a major power on the regional and Islamic levels.”
This position was preceded by several moves, notably Doha’s refusal in 2010 to use the US military base against Iran.
In 2015, Qatar defended the US nuclear deal with Iran and announced that it is the first country to support and encourage such settlements.