Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced the country’s readiness to help Qatar carry out the construction projects for the 2022 FIFA World Cup games.
Ιn a telephone conversation with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Sunday, Rouhani called for closer economic and political relations between Tehran and Doha.
Highlighting Iran’s engineering capabilities, Rouhani said, “Iranian companies are fully prepared for the export of technical and engineering services (to Qatar), particularly for partnership in carrying out construction projects in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
Urging efforts to facilitate the activities of Iranian and Qatari business people and investors, he proposed the idea of closer port and maritime cooperation and “establishment of a joint shipping line” to promote bilateral trade.
“There is no obstacle in the way of stronger mutual cooperation,” the president added.
He further acknowledged the supportive political stances on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal adopted by Europe, Russia, China, Turkey and Qatar, saying such support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and opposition to illegal US sanctions should come with practical measures.
For his part, the Qatari emir expressed his country’s willingness to boost ties with Iran in all fields.
Al Thani also praised Iran for supporting his country against the “cruel” sanctions and blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries.
Voicing Qatar’s opposition to the violation of the JCPOA and escalation of tensions between Iran and the US, he said Doha seeks strong ties with Tehran and favors peaceful solution to political conflicts.
In August 2017, Doha sent back its ambassador to Tehran, more than 20 months after he was recalled, and moved to strengthen relations with Tehran amid a diplomatic rift between Qatar and four other Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
The Arab countries allied with Saudi Arabia blame Doha for interfering in the domestic affairs of other states and sponsoring terrorism, an accusation Qatar has rejected.
The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Persian Gulf War, has seen the Arab nations cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major US military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Doha has been receiving fresh food supplies from Iran, which has also allowed Qatar’s national carrier to use its airspace.