Qatar: Arabs Need Strong Tehran Ties

Qatar: Arabs Need Strong Tehran Ties Qatar: Arabs Need Strong Tehran Ties

Qatar's foreign minister said Persian Gulf Arab states need to forge "strong relations" with the Islamic Republic of Iran.   

In an interview with London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah said, "We are looking to build strong relations with Iran to open the door to dialogue regarding security and stability in the region," Fars news agency reported.

Asked about a prospective final deal between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on Tehran's nuclear program, which is expected to be finalized by the end of June building on the preliminary agreement recently reached in the Swiss city of Lausanne, and its possible effects on Iranian policies toward the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, he said, "We in the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council will welcome such an agreement."

He also expressed hope that "a clear final deal will be inked on Tehran's nuclear work."

"We are in favor of an agreement that gives Iran the right to make peaceful use of nuclear energy and at the same time prevent it from accessing nuclear weapons," he asserted.  Iran denies it nuclear activities may have any military objectives. The senior Qatari diplomat described the level of ties between Iran and Qatar as "good", despite the fact that the two sides disagree on several issues.

"We are in the same geographical region, (a fact) that cannot be changed," he said, adding that both sides need to "purify their intentions" to pave the way for improving bilateral relations.