Gulf countries welcome Iran cooperation but not meddling

Gulf countries’ foreign ministers meet with US secretary of state in Doha, informed him that cooperation with Iran welcomed, not meddling

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) listens while Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi (L) speaks during a meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Doha August 3, 2015.

As talks began between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Arab Gulf counterparts, main points were framed, in which the Sunni dominated council said cooperation with Iran is welcomed, but not the meddling as the Persian country often presents.

“Iran's nuclear deal should bring stability and good neighbourliness rather than interference,” Gulf Arab states told Kerry on Monday.

“More intelligence cooperation and training” Kerry discussed over missile defence and arms transfer between the US and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

According to Kerry, the GCC power will work towards counter destabilising in the Gulf region, and further enhance the security in the Middle East.

Kerry’s visit to Qatar’s Doha was In order to calm concerns of Arab Gulf countries, and discuss the Iran nuclear deal, after an important weekend visit to Egypt, Kerry arrived in Doha on Sunday evening.

Qatar, the more welcoming and tolerant Gulf state towards the long-sought US sponsored deal, with its Foreign Minister Khalid al Attiyah said the alliance wanted to spare the region "from any dangers and threats from nuclear weapons."

Authorising the use of nuclear technology and development for peaceful purposes is in line with international rules and the GCC point of view, he said, speaking for the GCC as host of the meeting.

"We look forward with hope to the nuclear agreement ... leading to the preservation of security and stability in the region, and we emphasize the importance of cooperation with Iran based on principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference in internal affairs and solving disputes peacefully."

A three-way meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al Jubeir and John Kerry will be held on the sidelines of the Doha talks, primarily focusing on the conflict in Syria.

"This is an opportunity, really, for the secretary to do a deep dive with the GCC foreign ministers to try to respond to any remaining questions that they might have and hopefully to satisfy them and ensure that they're supporting our effort going forward," a US State Department official said.

"There can be absolutely no question that if the Vienna plan is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer than they otherwise would be or were," Kerry said during Sunday’s joint news conference in Cairo regarding the landmark nuclear deal.

Major US allies in the Middle East, including Egypt and the Gulf countries, have been skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal. Due to this Kerry, along with the Pentagon chief Ashton Carter, have embarked on Middle East tours in an attempt to allay concerns. Carter visited Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq in late July. He also discussed and visited bases belonging to the joint military forces battling ISIS.

"Iran is engaged in destabilising activities in the region - and that is why it is so important to ensure that Iran's nuclear programme remains wholly peaceful," said Kerry in the Cairo press conference.

"If Iran is destabilising, it is far, far better to have an Iran that doesn't have a nuclear weapon than one that does," he added.

In a live televised feed on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the July 14 nuclear agreement sealed in Vienna creates better prospects for faster solutions in Syria and Yemen, two of the Middle East's worst conflict zones in which Iran is involved.

Iran backs the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria and aids the Houthi rebels in Yemen battling the country’s government and a Saudi-led coalition.

"The final solution in Yemen is political, in Syria the final solution is political," said Rouhani. "The agreement will create a new atmosphere. The climate will be easier."

TRTWorld and agencies