Geography plays an important role in shaping the relationship between Qatar and Iran, bringing the two countries together via maritime borders in the Arabian Gulf. Accordingly, they also share close economic relations, linked to the oil and gas industries, as a large part of Qatari energy comes from a common field with Iran.

In 1969, during the reign of late Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the two countries signed an agreement to demarcate the maritime borders between them. Following the 1979 Khomeini revolution, Doha supported the regime of late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein politically, financially and with intelligence during his war with Iran, which lasted from 1980 to 1988.

After the war, in 1989, Tehran demanded a third of the gas reservoir in the northern field of Qatar, saying it was located under Iranian waters. It was then agreed to jointly exploit the field.

Maritime transport cooperation

The cooperation between Iran and Qatar in the maritime transport sector led to former Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 1991 to call for Iranian participation in security arrangements in the Gulf region, a proposal that was met with complete opposition and rejection by other Arab Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.

In 1992, Doha tried to reach an agreement with Tehran to supply it with water for oil pipelines via the Karun River in Iran, but as a result of local resistance in Iran, this matter was reversed.

As a result of this suspicious relationship, the Qataris have been involved in relations with militias affiliated with Tehran. After the emergence of the Houthi militia in Yemen, Doha led the first official mediation between them and the state in 2007, and it transformed from a movement confined to the far reaches of the mountains in Saada to a regional political movement, positioning itself as equal to the state.

Clashes continued after that between the Houthis and the regime of late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, so Doha concluded a deal under which it ensured the Yemeni army would stop its advance towards the mountainous Mutara region, the last rebel stronghold north of Saada, which was home to current Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, in exchange for his brother Yahya, his father Badreddin, and his uncle Abdul Karim residing temporarily in Doha, and that Doha would take over the payment for compensation and reconstruction.

Yemeni army leaders considered at the time that the Qatari mediation had saved the Houthis from extermination, accusing Saleh of surrendering to Qatar’s temptations, which included large sums of money as aid in exchange for stopping the war. But as soon as the Houthis reorganized as a result of the Qatari interference, they ignited a new war the following year and disavowed all agreements.

At the time, the Qatari leadership continued to pressure the Yemeni government to conclude another agreement to stop the war, which was soon disavowed, and the former Qatari emir paid an estimated half billion dollars in aid to Sanaa.

Relations have also developed between Doha and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Fox News recently revealed that Doha has financed the delivery of weapons to the terrorist militia, which exposes about 10,000 American forces in Qatar to danger, as Qatar hosts the Al Udeid military base, which serves as a forward headquarters of US Central Command and squadrons of the US Air Force.

Source » theportal-center