The US has placed considerable sanctions against Iran in order to force the nation to craft a better nuclear deal. While the sanctions are certainly stringent in nature, they are a part of a wider strategy revolving Iran. However, the US needs to consider Qatar as well when planning out these strategies.
The fact is that Qatar and Iran have been working together over the last few years. In fact, they have become rather close and their ties are being consolidated through both nations’ efforts. This is certain to increase as the stricter US sanctions hit Iran.
Qatar and Iran has been building up their economic ties for quite some time now. Now that Iran has been hit by sanctions, Iran has been looking to Qatar to help it out. Iran has been using Qatari financial institutions to move its foreign exchange among other things. Reports show that Iran is possibly using a hawala system for the flow of money to and from Qatar.
This has led to an increase in the number of delegations between the two countries. In some cases, Iranian delegations are visiting Qatar every week. This has given rise to suspicions about the actual nature of these delegations. Some experts believe that Iran is storing its money in Qatari banks through its Revolutionary Guards.
Apart from economic and trade ties between the two countries, it is a well-known fact that Qatar is financially supporting Iran as well as Iranian militia groups. During the Qatari hostage crisis in Iraq, Qatar had paid a considerable sum of money to various terrorist groups including those based in Iran. In fact, Qatar has been shown to be a supporter of various outfits that conduct terrorism for Iran.
Despite saying that it is against terrorism, Qatar is a strong supporter of Iran. As such, the US needs to consider the Qatar-Iran ties if it wants to successfully pressurize Iran into a more suitable nuclear deal.