0148 GMT December 13, 2018
President Hassan Rouhani, in a phone conversation with Qatari emir, expressed Iran’s willingness to promote cooperation and relations with Doha as a neighbor and friendly country.
In a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Ale Thani on Thursday, Rouhani said the Iranian government and nation have stood by the Qatari government and nation under any circumstances, and will continue to do so.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran regards the blockade on the Qatari government and nation as an inappropriate and unfair move,” said President Rouhani.
He also embraced the idea of holding an Iran-Qatar joint cooperation commission in a bid to promote mutual relations on all fronts.
Rouhani underlined the importance of dialogue as the only way for the settlement of disputes.
"Iran is always prepared to discuss regional issues with the Persian Gulf states. However, some countries assume that they should choose a way other than dialogue," he said, Press TV reported.
"No power or superpower can be a substitute for good cooperation among the neighbors in the region," he added.
Rouhani pointed to the ongoing embargo of Qatar by the Saudi-led quartet of Arab countries and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran considers sanctions on the Qatari nation and government an inappropriate and unjust measure."
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 - an allegation strongly denied by Doha.
The Saudi-led quartet presented Qatar with a list of steep demands 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.
In the telephone conversation, the emir "expressed his gratitude to the Iranian president for Iran's stance towards the boycott (of the Arab Quartet) to Qatar and its contribution to alleviate its economic impacts", said a statement from Qatar News Agency QNA.
Tehran said recently that trade between the two countries had risen by $250 million in the 12 months to March as Doha becomes more reliant upon Iranian imports such as food products.
The agency said the telephone call was used to exchange greetings between the pair for Holy Ramadan.
Sheikh Tamim also referred the recent tension created against Iran, saying Iran is a powerful country in the region, and his country believes international issues and differences should be resolved only through dialogue.
President Rouhani said Trump’s pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal will not be in the interests of the US and other signatories to the deal.
The two sides also slammed the relocation of the US Embassy to Al-Quds and Israel's massacre of protesters in Gaza. Israeli forces killed at least 62 Palestinians during the protests near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided with Washington’s embassy relocation.