Emir of Qatar: 'The US should re-engage with Iran'

Israelis "have the most dangerous weapons," Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani claims interview; says US can't use Qatari base to attack Iran.

The Emir of Qatar 311 (photo credit: DIMITRI MESSINIS (AP))
The Emir of Qatar 311
(photo credit: DIMITRI MESSINIS (AP))
The US will not be allowed to use its base in Qatar to launch attacks against Iran and US President Barack Obama should try to re-engage with Teheran, said the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, in Doha during interview with the Financial Times published Tuesday.
"As a neighbor to Iran, and we have lived with Iranians for a long time together, we believe that the best thing is dialogue. The Americans should speak with Iran. The Iranians are all the time mentioning that their nuclear (program) is there for peaceful purposes. What is the role of the United Nations, the Security Council? They should go and check this," said Thani.
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The emir also told the Financial Times that Qatar would not allow the US to use its base there to launch a strike on Iran, should it decide to do so, and warned that the Israelis are those "who have the most dangerous weapons, the nuclear weapons."
He said Qatar's relations with Iran would continue and "We never thought to [support] the Americans against Iran or against Hizbullah. Again, we feel that we know our region more than the Americans."
Speaking on Qatar's relations with Israel, Thani said, "we have good relations because we are supporting peace. But in the Gaza war the Israelis refused to allow us to send mobile hospitals to Gaza and we were seeing the children being killed and they didn’t allow us to send food."
"We told them, we are the only country in the Gulf where you have your [trade] office and you should treat us better," he said.
Thani also commented on the peace process, saying that "The Americans should tell the Israelis that they have to do something to achieve peace in the Middle East. And the Americans should tell them that we are not going to follow you. We have other friends in the region and they are suffering because of your decisions against the Palestinians."
The emir stated that the peace process is not "in the hands of the Arabs, because the Arabs until now have not been able to represent themselves to find a way for peace," adding that an alternative to the Arab Peace initiative has not been developed.