Iranians debate whether to take advantage of Qatar crisis

Al-Monitor | Rohollah Faghihi: The crisis involving Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar has caught the attention of Iranian media, with many outlets considering the crisis an opportunity for Iran’s struggling economy while also warning the government not to take any sides in the “war among sheikhs.”

The first reaction in Iran came from President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs Hamid Aboutalebi, who almost took Qatar’s side. “The rift and collapse of the [Saudi-led Arab] coalition are the results of the sword dance [of US President Donald Trump and Saudi rulers] in Riyadh. … The age of playing the role of Big Brother is over. … The age of sanctions is over, too, and cutting diplomatic ties, closing borders, blockading countries, expelling members from the coalition … are not the way out of the crisis,” tweeted Aboutalebi June 5. Meanwhile, Bahram Ghassemi, the spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, took a neutral stance, saying June 5, “The solution to differences among regional countries, including the current dispute between Qatar and its … neighboring states, is possible only through political and peaceful methods as well as transparent and explicit dialogue among the involved parties.”

Under the title “The tribal offensive of the Saudis and their partners against Qatar,” hard-line Vatan-e-Emrooz wrote June 6, “Qatar has suddenly become isolated by its [four] neighboring countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the [United Arab] Emirates and Bahrain cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar under the pretext of Qatar’s support for terrorism, interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, threatening [Arab countries’] national security and harboring extremists.”
Read more here