Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah told an international security conference in Singapore on Sunday that his country has “a lot of differences” with Iran, but it does not mean “we go and fuel a war.”
“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, apparently referring to Saudi Arabia.
Attiyah also urged dialogue with Iran to resolve issues, saying, “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.”
Asked about the possibility of Qatar’s air bases being used in possible airstrikes on Iran, he noted that Doha was not a “fan of war” and rather supported engagement.
Qatar is home to a US military base with 11,000 American troops.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Qatari defense minister called for the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement to be preserved after the US withdrawal from the deal.
“Everyone should keep holding on to this (accord) and advance with this. In my own judgment, I think the United States is wiser than to enter in a war with Iran,” he said.
Last June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE imposed a land, naval and air blockade on import-dependent Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, and having cozy relations with Iran.
The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences.
Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and stressed that it would not abandon its independent foreign policy.
Iran has taken a neutral stance in the dispute but has sent food supplies to Qatar on humanitarian grounds amid the Saudi-led siege of the country. It has also allowed Qatar’s national carrier to use Iran’s airspace.