Qatar defies Saudi Arabia by restoring diplomatic ties with Iran
Qatar has defied Saudi Arabia by strengthening its diplomatic ties with Iran - rather than cutting them back as Saudi Arabia and its allies have demanded.
Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have been blockading Qatar since early June and have demanded that Qatar curb its ties with Iran, as well as shut down its al-Jazeera television network and expel extremists from its territory.
Rather than give in to the blockading countries’ demands, Qatar announced on Thursday that it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Iran and sending its ambassador back to Tehran for the first time since 2016.
"The state of Qatar expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields," The Qatari foreign ministry said.
There was no immediate response from Saudi Arabia or its allies in Bahrain, UAE and Egypt to the diplomatic move.
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