Aug 24, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Qatar reopening diplomatic ties with Iran amid Saudi standoff

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Qatar has reopened diplomatic relations with Iran and will be sending a diplomat to Tehran, the AP reports. Qatar had originally pulled its ambassador out in early 2016 when there were two attacks on Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran.

This comes amid the months-old Saudi-led blockade against Qatar, and flies in the face of Saudi Arabia's demand that Qatar restrict its ties with Iran before the blockade be lifted. Although Qatar had already been receiving shipments of food from Iran, this is likely to further entrench the blockade.

Why it matters: The blockade, which Trump has appeared to tacitly back, has brought Qatar and Iran closer together — not a desirable outcome for either Washington or Riyadh. The U.S. has its largest military base of the region in Qatar.

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