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Attiyah rules out war between US and Iran

Meriam Jelliti
There would be no war between Washington and Tehran in the foreseeable future although certain parties are seeking to ignite one, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs HE Dr Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah said in Doha on Wednesday.
In a discussion moderated by American journalist Steve Clemons on the second day of the Global Security Forum, the Defence Minister said several parties had done everything in their power, including the production of video games, to push America to launch a military strike on Iran.
“My best vision is that US President (Donald) Trump would like to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani or its Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the minister said.
“If there were some simple things like expanding the permission to export oil, I think the Iranian side would be (willing) to sit (for talks). This is a vision, not information available to me, and if there is a goodwill initiative, the other party will receive this signal well and may meet halfway. Face-to-face discussion is the best way to bring stability to the region.”
On the possibility of the US using its military bases in Qatar and Turkey to launch strikes on Iran, Dr Attiyah said, “I do not think that the Americans will move without the permission of the host country.”
He said there were agreements between Qatar and Washington in this regard.
“We are a sovereign country that respects the sovereignty of other countries. Qatar has a special relationship with America and we coordinate with the US on a daily basis.”
Addressing the US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria, Dr Attiyah asserted that America wouldn’t abandon the region.
On the Turkish operation in northern Syria to create a “safe zone” there, the minister said Turkey was trying to use its right to protect itself from terrorist groups.
“We, in Qatar, deal with the facts as they are. Turkey hosts nearly 4 million refugees and it can open its doors to let these refugees travel to Europe.”
Attempting to return these refugees to their countries was not a crime, he said, adding that major crimes had been committed by certain parties in Syria and no one was held accountable. (With inputs from QNA)