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Iran requests new Qatari emir to change Syria policy

Published: Updated:

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s foreign minister, urged new Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday to revise Qatar’s current policy in order to solve the Syrian crisis.

Qatar currently backs Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“Hopefully Sheikh Tamim will contemplate the Syrian issue and regarding past policies, he will make a serious revision so we will be able to...join hands and tackle the Syrian crisis,” Salehi said at a news conference in Tehran, according to Reuters.

Salehi also stated that he hoped for Qatar to “enter a new era in its international interactions,” according to Reuters.

His remarks were the first from Iran about Qatar since Sheikh Tamim's rule began, after his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, abdicated after 18 years.

Loyal ally

Iran has been a loyal ally to Assad and his forces since the Syrian crisis began in 2011, accusing Qatar and Saudi Arabia of arming “terrorist” groups.

The Iranian government believes that Assad should stay in order to prevent a power vacuum and has stated that a solution to the conflict must come from within Syria, rather than through external pressure.

However, Iran’s policy of providing large amounts of military and monetary to the Syrian regime is seen as hypocritical by backers of the rebels.

(With Reuters)

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