Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Asia Society in New York, Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Asia Society in New York, Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

DOHA, QATAR - Iran said Wednesday it hopes to have good relations with arch-rival Saudi Arabia and its allies, and called for an end to their bitter dispute with Gulf neighbour Qatar.

Riyadh broke off relations with Tehran in 2016 after protesters angry at its execution of a top Shiite cleric torched its diplomatic missions in Iran.

The following year the kingdom and its allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed a trade and travel boycott on Qatar, demanding that it mirror their hardline policies towards Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We have extremely good relations with Qatar, Kuwait, Oman," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, referring to the two Gulf Arab countries which remained neutral in the dispute.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
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"We hope to have the same type of relations with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates," Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Doha.

"We also hope that countries within the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) could resolve their differences peacefully.

"We were against pressure on Qatar, we still believe that pressure on Qatar is against international law."

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Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have repeatedly accused Qatar of posing a threat to Gulf security through its support for "extremism".

Doha has consistently denied the allegation accusing its former allies of seeking a pretext for regime change.

In April, Qatar said it filed three lawsuits in London and New York against Saudi and UAE banks for allegedly plotting to undermine its currency and bonds.

Qatar has already taken legal action against Saudi Arabia and its allies before the International Court of Justice, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Trade Organization.


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