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Posted On: 9 July 2009 08:41 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar, Iran in defence talks

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The Chief of Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces, H E Major-General Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah arrived in Tehran for defence talks on Monday amidst continuous speculation of a potential attack on Iran. “The Islamic Republic of Iran remains committed to safeguarding the stability and security of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and the transport of energy through the region,” Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar told Al Attiyah in a meeting later. “Tehran believes that sustainable security will be established in the region through collective cooperation,” he added. The Qatari official said regional states and his country attached great importance to promoting relations with Iran. Al Attiyah discussed defence and political issues with senior Iranian officials. He went to Tehran on an official three-day visit at the invitation of Mohammad-Najjar. During his stay he also visited industrial and military sites. Israel, the undeclared possessor of the sole nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, continues its efforts to portray Iran as a regime hell-bent on a nuclear war. It accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons and in reaction to these unsubstantiated fears is drawing up plans to attack the Islamic Republic. As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran denies the charges and says the NPT grants it the freedom to have a nuclear programme for civilian purposes. The US, Israel’s staunchest ally, has denied the Jewish state a green light to carry out an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. US President Barack Obama on Tuesday strongly denied that the United States had given Israel a green light to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, in an interview on CNN television. Asked whether Washington had given Israel the go-ahead to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Obama answered: “Absolutely not.” Qatar has refused to follow in the footsteps of Washington and its Arab allies in the region on several issues, particularly over the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,350 people and wounded thousands of others, including a large number of women and children.