Global Insider: Iran-Qatar Relations

As the final installment of a three-part series on Iran's relations with the Gulf states, Global Insider explores Iran-Qatar relations. In an e-mail interview, Mehran Kamrava, interim dean of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar and director of the Center for International and Regional Studies, discusses the state of Iran-Qatar relations. You can read Kamrava's interview on Iran-UAE relations here, and on Iran-Bahrain relations here.

WPR: What is the current state of Iran-Qatar diplomatic relations?

Mehran Kamrava: Unlike the UAE or Bahrain, Qatar has maintained very cordial and close diplomatic relations with Iran over the last few years. This is consistent with the overall pattern and tenor of Qatari foreign policy, which frequently features diplomatic hyper-activism, hedging, and a keen willingness to maintain open lines of communication between parties that are at odds with one another. This has manifested itself in a fair amount of "summit diplomacy" between the two countries, featuring high-level visits to each other's capitals and grand statements about the strength of "brotherly relations" between the two. Whether there is much depth and substance to these high-level visits, however, is open to question. Qatar is home to one of the largest U.S. airbases anywhere in the world, and, similar to the UAE and Bahrain, remains firmly under the protective umbrella of the U.S. military.

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