Iran Steps Up Diplomacy over Qatar Diplomatic Crisis

"It's not in the U.S.'s interest to see the GCC sort of unravel", Allison Wood, an analyst with Control Risks in Dubai, said.

Zarif also spoke with the foreign ministers of Lebanon, Tunisia, Malaysia, and Algeria, separately.

Further, Qatar 's willingness to welcome organizations such as Hamas, which Washington brands a terrorist group, and the Taliban, which has fought US forces in Afghanistan for more than 15 years, allows contacts with such groups when needed.

At the Arab-Islamic summit held in Riyadh on May 21 the US president called for greater worldwide isolation of Iran, accusing Tehran of financing terrorism and supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. The Qatar Investment Authority, the country's sovereign wealth fund, plans to open an office in Silicon Valley.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on the parties to sit down and address their differences, though he does not believe the crisis will affect the war against the Islamic State.

"SriLankan will continue to operate flights to Doha as per schedule and at the same time we are closely monitoring the situation in the Gulf region", he said.

Within Qatar, the sudden measures surprised the wealthy country's approximately 2.6 million inhabitants - the overwhelming majority of whom are foreign workers - but did not overly rattle them.

Monday's actions escalate a crisis that started shortly after President Donald Trump's trip last month to Saudi Arabia, where he and King Salman singled out Iran as the world's main sponsor of terrorism.

At the end of May, excerpts from the speech that was attributed to Emir of Qatar which said that "it would be unwise to have tense relations with Iran, which is a strong power and guarantor of stability in the region" appeared on the website of the Qatar News Agency (QNA).

Saudi and UAE media outlets then launched verbal assaults against Qatar, which intensified after Sheikh Tamim's phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the weekend in apparent defiance of Saudi criticism.

Kuwait's ruler will travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, hoping to heal a damaging rift between Qatar and powerful Arab states over the former' s alleged support of Islamist militants and of political and religious rival Iran.

The minister told Qatar-based Al Jazeera that Doha expressed regret over the escalation of the crisis, which he said was unexpected. The UAE and Bahraini central banks did not respond to requests for comment.

The minister said Qatar's ties to the USA were complicated, but would remain unharmed.

We hope this message reaches those hired agents - that Qatar is a sovereign state and fully free to make its own decisions and no one can dictate to Qatar. "If there is a true blockade, this could be a big problem for them". Qatar is a member of the exporters' group Opec and the dispute could yet undermine the organisation's efforts to raise prices by restricting production.

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