Iran, Qatar discuss defense ties

TEHRAN, July 7 (MNA) – The Chief of Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces Hamad bin Ali al Attiyah and Iran’s Defense Minister Mostafa-Mohammad Najjar held talks on Tuesday.

The top Qatari commander arrived in Tehran just as Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani returned home from a two-day visit to Doha where he held constructive talks with Qatar’s ruler Sheik Hamed Bin Khalifa Al Thani.


“Iran-Qatar defense ties can serve as a good example for expansion of defense cooperation in the (Persian Gulf) region,” Iran’s defense minister told Major General Hamad bin Ali al Attiyah.


Najjar said Tehran is committed to preserving security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormoz as a “strategic waterway”.


About 40 percent of the oil traded on global markets passes through the Strait of Hormoz. It is the sole waterway that leads from the Persian Gulf into the Arabian Sea. It is just 33.6 kilometers (21 miles) wide at its narrowest and is considered the world’s most worrisome chokepoint.


Durable security


Najjar also said Tehran believes that regional countries are able to “guarantee durable security” through cooperation.


Iran had previously proposed to form a joint security pact with the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council members to provide security in the strategic oil-rich region.


Najjar reiterated the same view in his talks with the top Qatari defense official, saying Iran is serious about establishing defense cooperation with the Persian Gulf littoral states.


Iran’s defense chief said regional countries can take step for a durable security as the U.S. forces are preparing to pull out of Iraq by 2012.


Qatar views Iran as a brotherly state


Hamad bin Ali al Attiyah said the Qatari emir favors comprehensive ties with Iran.


“Iran, as a great country, is our friend and brother and relation with Iran is important for us and the whole region,” the major general noted.


The tiny Qatari state is emerging as a regional troubleshooter. It helped broker a deal between rival Lebanese factions last year. It also took a strong position against the Israeli blitzkrieg on the Gaza Strip early this year.


Before departing to Doha on Thursday, Ali Larijani called Qatar as an important country with great “political dynamism”.






News Code 34727

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