The presence of Iranian IRGC officers at the 2022 Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX), held on March 21-23, garnered extensive media attention. This is especially in light of the fact that the U.S. administration is considering revoking the U.S. designation of the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, as part of efforts to renew the nuclear deal (the JCPOA) with Iran.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that “we are deeply disappointed and troubled” by the presence of terrorist designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers at the show when “Iran that is the biggest threat to maritime stability in the Gulf region.” A Qatari official stated in response that Qatar had not invited the IRGC officers to the show and that the Iranian stand was managed by the Iranian Defense Ministry.
The presence of the IRGC officers in the Doha show sparked criticism from the UAE.
Scathing criticism against Qatar was also voiced by the head of the UAE Journalists Association, Muhammad Yousuf.
The following are translated excerpts from Yousuf’s article:
“The IRGC are the ones who seize ships and smuggle weapons to Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Hamas. They are the ones who fire missiles, boobytrap cars and assassinate national leaders in those countries and elsewhere. Their state [i.e., Iran] is trying to have [the IRGC] – as well as its commanders, who do not hesitate to voice threats against [Iran’s] neighbors on a daily basis – removed from the boycott and sanctions lists as part of the renewal of the deal [with the U.S. and the West]… Yet an official Washington spokesman [Ned Price] says his country is amazed by the participation of IRGC officers in a Doha show, compelling Qatar to clarify that it did not invite the IRGC [to attend]. This means that these officers must have entered Qatar as fruit and vegetable vendors, or perhaps were smuggled there in ships or fell from the sky.”
Source » iranbriefing