Qatari Emir paid a secret visit to Teheran

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Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has made a secret visit to Teheran, informed Iranian sources revealed, indicating that he was not on a Qatari mediation mission between the Islamic Republic and the US. Al-Thani’s secret mission to Iran took place last week, on the third day of Eid al-Adha, July 22.  

The purpose of the visit was not only to offer congratulations on Eid and to the new Iranian President Ibrahim al-Raisi, but the Qatari Emir also met several Teheran high-ranking officials. The secret mission coincides with the Washington Examiner revelation that the US State Department opened an inquiry into an Israeli government report Qatar’s monarchy funded Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

The alleged terror finance activities of the Islamic regime in Doha surfaced during last month’s Oval Office meeting between President Joe Biden and outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Sheikh Hamad reportedly directed a wish for Ibrahim Raisi that the Iranian Foreign Ministry or any other official body before the Washington Examiner will deny the Qatari support for the Revolutionary Guard. According to the same sources, Doha sent its Minister of Foreign Affairs to Washington to deal with the matter already last month.

Hamad also reassured the Iranian leadership about the situation in Afghanistan. Al-Thani reportedly said to Doha that the Taliban movement, after seizing power, would not use the Afghan territories against Iran, and their policy would not be hostile to Teheran. Tamim provided guarantees to Raisi on this issue. The parties agreed to continue strengthening the relationship between Iran and the Taliban as Qatari diplomacy has facilitated this matter over the past years.

It is not the first time that Al-Thani has visited Iran, officially or secretly, although Doha has rarely disclosed the reasons and topics covered. His last visit occurred last year after offering condolences on the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Muscat, Oman.

In early January 2020, the Emir also arrived in Tehran to meet with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and former President Hasan Rouhani. Also, on that occasion, he is said to have not carried any initiative. He instead inquired about the views of the Iranian leadership with regards to the prevailing Iran-US crisis. But according to informed Iranian sources, Tamim’s recent mission lasted a few hours, and he took unprecedented security precautions.

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