Iran: Hassan Rouhani condemns 'siege of Qatar'


The Saudi-led boycott, which enlisted other GCC states and Egypt to isolate Qatar, was imposed several weeks after the high-profile visit to Riyadh by the USA president, Donald Trump, during which he re-prioritised the kingdom over its main regional rival, Iran - the regional clout of which had risen after the Obama administration brokered a nuclear deal with Tehran.

-Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

"While some of the elements will be very hard for Qatar to meet, there are significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution", stated US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a statement released on Sunday.

Qatari officials immediately dismissed the document, which also demanded Doha shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network and close a Turkish military base in Qatar, as neither reasonable or actionable.

"Helping Qatar economically and developing ties, particularly in the private sectors of both countries, could be a common goal", Rouhani said on Sunday. Tillerson called on all parties to lower their rhetoric and to seek unity in the fight against terrorism.

Last week, before the anti-Qatar demands became public, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was unusually blunt in criticizing the group of nations isolating Qatar and effectively dared them to come up with a list of Qatari misdeeds.

"The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security", he said.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday dismissed calls for the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar. Turkey shipped suppliers and food via cargo planes to Qatar after its neighbors closed down air, land and sea routes.

An influential Republican senator said Monday that he'll withhold approval of USA weapons sales to several Middle Eastern allies until there is a clear path for settling a diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

At the end of his remarks, he said the Islamic world required unity and integrity and the two countries could undoubtedly work together in these arenas.

Qatar has called the demands unreasonable, and Erdogan has reinforced Turkey's support for the embattled emirate.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt want Doha to comply with the demands in return for an end to the three-week-old diplomatic and trade blockade of Qatar. He told Tillerson that "before we provide any further clearances during the informal review period on sales of lethal military equipment to the GCC states, we need a better understanding of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify" the alliance. He says the supporting Kuwait's efforts to mediate.

"It is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty and outsourcing our foreign policy", said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani, a government spokesman.