Qatar: We won't fuel a war with Iran

Qatar’s Defense Minister says his country will not be dragged into any conflict with Iran.

Ben Ariel ,

Flag of Qatar
Flag of Qatar

Qatar’s Defense Minister made clear on Sunday his country will not be dragged into any conflict with Iran.

The minister, Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah, told an international security conference in Singapore that even though the two nations had "a lot of differences", Doha would not "fuel a war" in the region.

"Is it wise to call the U.S. and Israel to go and fight Iran? Iran is next door," he said, as quoted by AFP.

"If any third party is trying to push the region or some country in the region to start a war with Iran, this will be very dangerous," added al-Attiyah.

His comments sparked speculation that he could have been referring to Saudi Arabia, which has led a year-long blockade against Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt all severed relations with Qatar last June over allegations that it supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges.

They later placed dozens of figures linked to the country on blacklists, including Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the spiritual leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The four boycotting countries later delivered 13 demands to ending the crisis, including shutting the Al-Jazeera network, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base.

Qatar says the blockading countries are seeking regime change in Doha.

Responding on Sunday to a question on whether Qatar's air bases could be used to launch airstrikes against Iran, al-Attiyah said the country was "not a fan of war", and called instead for engagement and dialogue.

"We should call Iran, put all the files on the table, and discuss to bring peace, (rather) than war," he was quoted by AFP as having told the Shangri-La Dialogue.