Aug 12, 2020 11:23 UTC
  • Qatar distances itself from PGCC call for UN to extend Iran embargo

Qatar has distanced itself from a hostile call by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) for the UN Security Council to back a US-proposed extension of the UN arms ban against Iran, highlighting good neighborly relations between the two countries.

According to Press TV, speaking in an interview with al-Jazeera on Wednesday, Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, a senior Qatari Foreign Ministry official, said the pan-Arab council’s positions are usually decided and announced at foreign ministerial meetings, and that the latest stance of the PGCC’s General Secretariat does not reflect the positions of member states.

The official was referring to a letter sent by the PGCC to the Security Council, urging it to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which is slated to expire next month under a UNSC-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries.

Further in the interview, Qahtani, who serves as the special envoy of the Qatari foreign minister for counterterrorism and mediation in settlement of disputes, reiterated Doha’s opposition to the harsh economic sanctions illegally imposed by the US on the Iran.

“We in Qatar do not think that current sanctions on Iran would lead to positive results and contribute to the resolution of crises. Crises must be overcome through dialog and negotiations,” he noted.

“Iran is a neighboring country with which we have good neighborly relations, and it enjoys a position that the State of Qatar, the government and the people value, especially during the unjust blockade on Qatar,” Qahtani pointed out.

Reacting to the PGCC statement on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi rejected as “unrealistic” the PGCC call for extension of Iran arms embargo.

“The PGCC is currently at the apex of its incompetence and its unrealistic policies have rendered it ineffective,” he said.