Last updated: 28 March, 2012

Qatar opposes attack on Iran

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani has said his country, which hosts the US Central Command, would oppose any military attack against Iran.

“The Iranians and the Americans know that Qatar rejects any military action against Iran,” he said in an interview with the Doha-based Al-Jazeera, excerpts of which were broadcast Wednesday.

Sheikh Hamad, who also holds the foreign affairs portfolio, said the energy-rich nation will not allow the use of its territory for attacks on the Islamic republic.

“We will not accept, and this is very clear, any act of aggression against Iran (being launched) from Qatar,” he said.

Israel has brandished the threat of possible military action against Iran’s nuclear sites, while the United States has put its energies into sanctions and diplomacy but has not ruled out the military option.

The United States and its Western allies believe Iran is working towards a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran denies that, saying its atomic programme is exclusively peaceful.

Despite lingering tensions between Shiite Iran and the Sunni nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates — Doha has kept close ties with Tehran.

Qatar has also acted several times as mediator between Iran and regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

The US Central Command oversees operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.