Qatar’s new lie flew out the window of its “fingers crossed” policy which it had been implementing since the quartet boycott. This time, Doha claimed that Saudi Arabia wants a mediation with Iran.
This statement was never declared by any Saudi official or even the Iraqi Foreign Minister for example. It was reported that while he was in Iran, Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim al-Araji stated Riyadh has asked for Iraq’s mediation.
Saudi Arabia was quick in denying the reports about seeking mediation,” Saudi Arabia has not requested any mediation in any way with the Republic of Iran,” adding that what has been circulated on news in this regard is completely untrue, logic and series of events in the region makes it impossible that Saudi Arabia would request a mediation with Iran amid current conditions.
Aside from that, negotiations with Iran was impossible especially after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman settled the issue and stated his country’s clear position of this supposed dialogue: “There is no common ground between us and Iran”.
The Prince said there was no room for dialogue with Iran that is busy preparing to control the Islamic world. But, what made Qatar rush and promote such a false statement before even making sure of its validity?
The answer to that question can be summed in three points. First of all, the quartet boycott proved that Doha has no policy other than promoting lies.
Negotiations are not possible as long as Qatar keeps up with its hostile policy against Arab and regional countriesSalman al-Dosary
Initially, Qatar tried to make it sound that this is not a boycott but a siege. Then, it claimed that Qatari citizens were banned from Umrah, which was debunked as 1,600 Qatari nationals entered Saudi Arabia just few days before severance of ties.
After that, Doha tried to internationalize Hajj, before retracting its statement following a strongly worded response from Saudi Arabia warning it “not to play with fire”. Again, Qatar tried to spread a lie that its airlines are flying above the four countries, which is surely not true. Not to forget the organized campaign that Qatar used to resort to whether secretly, or through its media outlets, or indirectly.
The second reason is that Qatar is trying to alleviate the pressure on it after its openness on Iran. Everyone is alienating themselves from the capital and spearhead of terrorism and it is no secret that collaborating with Tehran would put Qatar in the same category. Iran wanted to spread chaos and destabilize the stability and security of the region.
If Qatar chose to be in the same league as Iran, then it surely is practicing a policy that is harmful to the region and the world, as well as consolidating the fears that drove regional countries to cut ties with it. Doha is even falsely trying to include Saudi Arabia in the same group.
The third reason for Qatar’s promotion of this exposed lie is that for years now, Doha had been repeatedly trying to force the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to approach Tehran. The Iraqi lie presented an open window to carry on with its attempts.
I was assigned to cover the Doha Gulf Summit of 2007 and everyone was surprised with the participation of the former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the first Iranian president to ever participate in a Gulf summit since the council’s establishment in 1981.
Back then, a Gulf minister told me that they weren’t aware of the invitation. He said: “We hadn’t been aware of that and we weren’t consulted. We knew it from media.” Another Gulf official stated that there is Gulf “disgust” because of Ahmadinejad’s presence.
Doha even took advantage of the opportunity that GCC Sec-Gen Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah declared that the Iranian presidential invitation was sent due to a “joint Gulf wish”, which turned out to be false later on.
Just like that, Qatar chose over night to turn the tables on its principles. Doha participated in the war on Houthis then suddenly announced it was done out of courtesy. It developed a relation with Iran and constantly tried to deceive others otherwise. Sensible and sane countries do not change their principles. Stances change based on political developments.
Concerning dialogue with Iran, if Tehran continued with its sabotaging methods, then negotiations and mediations are useless. Once it changes its policy, then no one will be against stability in the region and countries’ rapprochement.
Dialogue is not possible while Iran dangerously escalates its expansion policies through its militias and accomplices in six Arab countries. Negotiations are not possible as long as Qatar keeps up with its hostile policy against Arab and regional countries.
The article was earlier published in Asharq Al-Awsat.
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets @SalmanAldosary.