A senior Qatari official has told an international security conference in Singapore that his country will not be dragged into any conflict with Iran.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah said that Qatar has “a lot of differences” with Iran but it does not mean “we go and fuel a war” in the region.
“Is it wise to call the United States and to call Israel to go and fight Iran? … Whether any third party is trying to push the region or some country in the region to start a war in Iran, this will be very dangerous,” he said.
He did not name any party but some speculate he could have been referring to Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia, which has also led a blockade of Qatar with three other countries since June last year, accusing Doha of supporting “extremists” and refusing to cut ties with Tehran.
Qatar rejects the accusation of supporting groups that are designated “terrorists”.
“Iran is next door. We should call Iran, put all the files on the table and start to discuss to bring peace rather than war,” he said in a speech.
Responding to a question on whether Qatar’s airbases could be used to launch attacks on Iran, al-Attiyah said that his country was not a “fan of war” and supported engagement and dialogue.
Qatar is hosting 10,000 US troops stationed at sprawling Al Udeid Air Base as part of its campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and the war in Afghanistan.