0210 GMT September 29, 2020
Speaking in an interview with Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, a senior Qatari Foreign Ministry official, said the pan-Arab council’s positions are usually decided and announced at foreign ministerial meetings, and that the latest stance of the PGCC’s general secretariat does not reflect the positions of member states.
The official was referring to a letter sent by the PGCC to the Security Council, urging it to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran, which is slated to expire next month under a UNSC-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries, Press TV wrote.
In the letter, which drew a strong condemnation from Tehran, the PGCC — comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — repeated its claims about Iran’s role in the region, saying Iran’s “interference” in neighboring countries makes an extension of the UN arms embargo necessary.
“It is inappropriate to lift restrictions on the supply of weapons from and to Iran,” the council’s Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf said in a statement on Saturday.
Further in the interview, Qahtani, who serves as the special envoy of the Qatari foreign minister for counterterrorism and mediation in settlement of disputes, reiterated Doha’s opposition to the harsh economic sanctions imposed by the US against the Iranian nation.
“We in Qatar do not think that current sanctions on Iran would lead to positive results and contribute to the resolution of crises. Crises must be overcome through dialogue and negotiations,” he noted.
“Iran is a neighboring country with which we have good neighborly relations, and it enjoys a position that the State of Qatar, the government and the people value, especially during the unjust blockade on Qatar,” Qahtani pointed out.
Reacting to the PGCC statement on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi rejected as “unrealistic” the PGCC call for extension of Iran arms embargo.
“The PGCC is currently at the apex of its incompetence and its unrealistic policies have rendered it ineffective,” he said.