World, Middle East

Qatar foreign minister visits Iran

Soleimani was killed in US drone attack in Iraq

Muhammed Sabry Emam Muhammed   | 04.01.2020
Qatar foreign minister visits Iran Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani (L) meets Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) in Tehran, Iran on January 4, 2020. ( Qatari Foreign Ministry - Handout - Anadolu Agency )


Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held talks in Tehran on Saturday with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, according to the official IRNA news agency.   

The top Qatari diplomat arrived in the Iranian capital on Saturday, one day after the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. drone airstrike in Iraq.  

IRNA said Zarif and Abdulrahman held two rounds of talks, without giving any further details.  

Speaking during the meeting, Zarif held the U.S. administration responsible for the consequences of Soleimani's killing.   

"The Islamic Republic of Iran does not seek tensions in the region, but the presence and interference of the foreign and extra-regional forces have caused instability, insecurity and escalation of tensions in our delicate region," he said.  

The Qatari minister, for his part, described the situation as "delicate and worrying", calling for easing tension and restoring calm to the region.  

During his visit, the Qatari minister is expected to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.  

Soleimani, the leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, was killed when a U.S. drone struck their convoy outside Baghdad's airport on Friday.  

The Iranian general's killing marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since President Donald Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.  

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who gave Soleimani the country’s highest honor last year, vowed "severe retaliation" in response to his killing.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of plotting an attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, and planning to carry out additional attacks on U.S. diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region.

On Friday, Qatar called on all parties to exercise self-restraint and avoid dragging Iraq and the region into endless violence.

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