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Saudi Arabia 'Simply Unable to Open a Military Front Against Qatar'

© Sputnik / Valery Melnikov /  / Go to the mediabankCheckpoint on the closed border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia
Checkpoint on the closed border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia - Sputnik International
Commenting on the 13-point ultimatum Qatar received from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt specifying what the peninsular nation must do in return for a restoration of ties, Iranian political analyst Hassan Hanizadeh told Sputnik who is really behind these demands and why Riyadh won't resort to an open military conflict.

A man walks on the corniche in Doha, Qatar, June 15, 2017 - Sputnik International
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On Friday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt handed a 13-point ultimatum to Qatar. The list contains demands Doha needs to meet in order to restore ties with other Arab nations.

The ultimatum demands that Qatar, among other things, cut its ties with Iran, close a Turkish military base on its soil and shut down the Al Jazeera media network and its affiliates. The countries are also demanding that Doha publicaly denounce relations with Islamist groups, end its suspected financing of terrorism and hand over persons that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. Moreover, the countries are demanding that Qatar provide financial compensation, although the sum was not reported.

Iranian political analyst and expert on Middle East and Iranian-Arab relations, former editor-in-chief of the Iranian news agency Mehr News, Hassan Hanizadeh, commented to Sputnik Persian on the ultimatum, saying that it completely violates the international law.

Qatar is a sovereign country, he said, a UN member state with its own independent policies. However, all the above countries are trying, at the instigation of the US, the West and Israel, to dictate their own conditions to Doha.

"As Qatar has very good relations with many countries of the region, including Iran, Saudi Arabia is trying to pressure it through Bahrain, within the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), force it to comply with the policies pursued by Riyadh and sever its relations with Tehran," Hassan Hanizade told Sputnik.

A view shows buildings in Doha, Qatar, June 9, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Qatar is being falsely accused of terrorism, while it is no secret that it is Saudi Arabia which had been supporting Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorists in Syria and which is now trying to throw off these accusations, shift blame to Qatar, and isolate this country, he said.

The US, he said, has been behind this game. He further reminded that during his first foreign trip to the Middle East, President Trump singed multi-billion agreements with Riyadh to be able to keep the US weapon production facilities afloat. Now, according to Trump, it is Qatar's turn to sign a multi-billion military agreement with the US, similar to Riyadh. Thus Washington will get access to Qatar's cash flow.

"The Qataris see through this situation and know that the puppeteer of the so-called "aggression" of the Arab states (namely Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) is the US, whose purpose is to force Doha to sign the military contracts for the benefit of the US,"  Hanizade told Sputnik.

While commenting on the prospects of an open military conflict in the Persian Gulf, the expert said that Saudi Arabia is not in any position to get involved in yet another military confrontation.

"I have to acknowledge that the prospect of settlement of the tensions in the region is in the hands of the Persian Gulf monarchies. However if we assess it objectively, then we'll see that Saudi Arabia is simply unable to open yet another military front, this time against Qatar," he said.

Buildings are seen from across the water in Doha, Qatar June 5, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Hassan Hanizadeh, however said that the Kingdom will continue exerting economic pressure on Qatar and keeping the blockade  in order to force Doha to accept the 13-point ultimatum.

If the military standoff between Saudi Arabia and Qatar continues, all the countries of the region will be dragged into this conflict, the expert suggested.

Saudi Arabia however understands only too well that it does not have the military might to go to war with Qatar as it has already bogged down in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

Qatar won't be the first to start the conflict either, he said. It will make wiser decisiong, balanced against the Saudi policies, which will enable it to withstand it, the expert concluded.

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