The visit comes shortly after new escalations in the ongoing war in Yemen.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani landed in Tehran on Thursday, to meet with top Iranian officials in a bid to strengthen GCC ties, sources told Al Jazeera.
The visit comes shortly after Sheikh Mohammed held a phone call on Tuesday with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during which bilateral relations and ways to strengthen relations were discussed.
The two officials also discussed the “latest regional developments and issues of mutual concern”, according to Qatar News Agency.
Earlier in January, Amir-Abdollahian made an official visit to Qatar as part of Tehran’s latest efforts to strengthen ties with its neighbours. During the trip, the diplomat met with Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his Qatari counterpart to ‘discuss regional and international developments.’
Developments in Vienna were also on the meeting’s agenda, in which negotiations are still taking place to restore the 2015 nuclear deal—by lifting the US’ sanctions and putting a break to Iran’s ‘problematic’ nuclear programme.
Doha has been on the frontline of de-escalation efforts in ongoing tensions across the region, having participated in various meetings and talks with world powers throughout recent years.
The country has maintained its ties with Iran and previously offered to mediate between them and the US, whilst saying that it would “spare no efforts” in restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Amir-Abdollahian also made a recent visit to Oman to discuss political cooperation between Tehran and Muscat with Deputy Sultan of Oman Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, and various other officials from the Sultanate.
The Iranian and Omani diplomats also tapped into developments in Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine and the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna, which are aimed at reviving the JCPOA.
Regional tensions ‘ongoing’
Since the GCC reconciliation, Qatar has offered to mediate between Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, as well as between Abu Dhabi, Tehran and Ankara.
In December 2021, the UAE’s top national security advisor, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, visited Iran to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries, a move that suggested a thaw in Tehran-Abu Dhabi relations.
Diplomatic advisor to the UAE president, Anwar Gargash, also stated that his country was “taking steps to de-escalate tensions with Iran as part of a policy choice towards diplomacy and away from confrontation”.
In recent months, talks and visits have been taking place back and forth between GCC countries, but Iran’s latest Houthi missile attack on the UAE seemed to spark yet another regional debate.
Doha’s visit to Tehran may involve talks on Yemen’s long-running war, but nothing is yet confirmed.