Iran: Hassan Rouhani condemns 'siege of Qatar'

In a phone call with the Qatari Emir, president also says Iran's air space, ground and sea will be open to Doha.

    Rouhani spoke to the Emir of Qatar on Sunday, the first day of the Eid-al Fitr festival [File: Reuters]
    Rouhani spoke to the Emir of Qatar on Sunday, the first day of the Eid-al Fitr festival [File: Reuters]

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told the Emir of Qatar that a "siege" imposed on it by four Arab states that recently cut ties with Doha "is not acceptable for us", according to the office of the president's website.

    A statement released on Sunday quoted Rouhani as telling Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in a phone conversation that "Tehran will stand by Qatar's government".

    "Iran's air space, ground and sea will be always be open to Qatar as a ... friendly nation," said Rouhani, adding that the cooperation of the two countries will remain "continuous".

    "We believe that if there are disagreements among countries of the region, pressure, intimidation, and sanction are not good ways for settle the disagreements," the statement added. 

    INTERACTIVE: GCC Crisis - Who is who?

    Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani extended wishes for the Eid al-Fitr Muslim festival, which began on Sunday, and said: "Qatar has open arms for interaction and cooperation."

    Saudi-led demands not 'reasonable or actionable'- Qatar

    He added: "Relations between Iran and Qatar have always been developing and powerful."

    Erdogan, Tillerson weigh in

    Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar and imposed a land, air and sea blockade against it on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism". 

    The four countries have not provided any evidence, and Qatar has repeatedly denied the allegations as baseless.

    On Friday, reports emerged that the Saudi-Emirati-led bloc had given Qatar 10 days to comply with a 13-point list of demands, which include, among others, that Doha scale down ties with Iran.

    Qatari officials immediately dismissed the document, which also demanded Doha shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network and close a Turkish military base in Qatar, as neither reasonable nor actionable.

    READ MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis - All the latest updates

    Rouhani's statement came hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the demands of the Saudi-Emirati-led bloc as being "against international law".

    Also on Sunday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said some of the demands "will be very difficult for Qatar to meet". 

    Tillerson added, however, that the list contained "significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution".

    The top US diplomat also said Washington was backing mediation efforts by Kuwait aimed at defusing the crisis and urged the different sides to "sit together" and continue discussing.


    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.