Qatar Reinstates Ambassador to Iran
Qatar is restoring full diplomatic relations with Iran. During Wednesday’s announcement, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said an ambassador will be returning to Tehran.
Qatar will be the first Gulf Cooperation Council (gcc) country to do so since the countries withdrew their ambassadors in 2016. The withdrawal happened after Iranians burned the Saudi Consulate in Tehran.
The reinstatement is a significant blow to Saudi Arabia and its fellow Gulf nations. A Saudi-led bloc initiated a siege of Qatar in June in an effort to drive a wedge between Qatar and Iran. The partnership gave Qatar a list of 13 demands—one of which was to sever ties with Iran. The group assumed that under economic pressure Qatar would “return to the fold” and cut off Iran.
But as the restoration of ties between Tehran and Doha proves, the Gulf gamble has backfired.
It seems the Gulf nations underestimated Qatar’s resilience to the blockade. Eighty percent of Qatar’s food comes from the Gulf states. Surely, they reasoned, Qatar would relent when the markets ran dry? The problem is, the gcc didn’t bank on Doha’s willingness to work with Iran.
Since the blockade began, Iran promised to come to Qatar’s aid. And Qatar has accepted with open arms. Iran has fed the populace with shipments of food direct from Iranian ports. Tehran also opened up airspace to allow Qatari airplanes to traverse Iranian skies.
Qatar remains stalwart, even as the blockade starts to hurt. According to the New York Times, “Depositors from boycotting countries withdrew billions of dollars from Qatari banks in June, forcing the treasury to step in. Qatar’s rating with international credit agencies has also taken a hit. Qatar’s imports fell 38 percent in June.” But it also noted, “The effect of the sanctions may lessen as Qatar develops alternate sea and air routes.”
Thank you, Iran.
Rather than put up with bullying, Qatar is making new friends. This undermines the blockade, giving Doha bargaining power. This means less incentive to bend the knee to Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf nations knew what was at stake when the blockade began. There was a risk that pressure would push Qatar further into Iran’s arms. And it seems that the longer the Qatar crisis plays out, the closer these two nations are becoming.
It goes to show how much the Saudis fear Iran. Losing Qatar was a calculated risk Riyadh took to hamper Iran’s ascension in the region. In recent years, Iran has capitalized on instability to advance its regional objectives. The Trumpet often mentions Iran’s desire to control the sea-lanes around the Middle East. And the Gulf states know all about it. We can see Saudi Arabia fighting against Tehran in Bahrain and Yemen in particular.
Qatar is ideally nestled on the busy Persian Gulf right beside Saudi Arabia. It is perfect for Iran’s goal of controlling regional trade. Should Doha flip, it would be a decisive victory for Iran. Tehran would have a new avenue to Saudi Arabia’s doorstep. Not only that, it could spell trouble for America. Qatar houses the Al-Udeid Air Base—the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East. Iran would love to pressure America out of the region.
As small as it is, Qatar casts a long shadow. A change in alliance would strengthen Iran’s grip on the Persian Gulf, further cementing Tehran as the king of the Middle East.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry discusses that rule in his free booklet The King of the South. If you haven’t already, we recommend you order or download a copy today. The Trumpet has for decades analyzed Iran’s rise through the lens of Bible prophecy. As remarkable as that sounds, the Bible is full of predictions of the rise and fall of world powers. Iran—the king of the south—is one of them.
As Watch Jerusalem and Trumpet contributor Brent Nagtegaal recently noted, “Qatar could play a very key role in biblical prophecy, one involving Iran—specifically their goal of controlling nations along the sea passageway that goes from the Persian Gulf around the Arabian Peninsula.”
You can listen to his radio program on the subject here:
It is fascinating to watch as Iran accumulates power and influence, fulfilling Bible prophecy as it goes. Even more astounding is what the Bible says will happen next. The Bible predicts that some of the regions strongest powers—though averse to Iran today—will soon join the Iranian axis! You can read about it in Daniel 11.
Iran is building a kingdom in the Middle East. Watch as Iran tries to dominate its Sunni neighbors and control the sea-lanes. An alliance with Qatar will only see that choke hold tighten.