Iran can have food delivered to blockaded Qatar within 12 hours if the need arises, the chairman of Iran’s Union of Food Exporters, Reza Noorani, said on June 5, Fars News Agency reported.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and The Maldives have broken diplomatic ties with Qatar and have severed land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula in a row over its alleged embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region. The groups are said to include the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, Islamic State and groups supported by Iran.
There was panic buying in Doha supermarkets after the Persian Gulf States made their move against Qatar, news agencies reported. Qatar relies on food trucked in from Saudi Arabia across its sole land border.
Al-Jazeera reported on June 5 that trucks carrying food for Qatar were now queued up behind the border, unable to enter the country.
Union chairman Noorani said Iran was capable of delivering fresh produce to Qatari supermarkets by both air and sea if required.
Rivalry with Iran – with which Saudi Arabia is engaged in a series of proxy wars across the region – is thought by analysts to feature heavily in the dispute. One spark for the crisis was Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh, during which he robustly denounced Tehran as a sponsor of terrorism and source of arms for various militia that support its regional agenda.
In a thinly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist Islamic doctrine and religious movement, Tehran has responded by pointing out that the ideological and financial sources of terrorism that have hit Europe and the US “are clear to everyone” and certainly cannot be found in Iran.
However, Iran has so far stayed cautiously out of the row between the Gulf States, and has called for it to be resolved by diplomatic means.
Iran exports virtually no food products to its regional neighbours to the south, due to restrictions on Iranian produce which those countries maintain.
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