Today, Iran will host the third Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Tehran.
In spite of the 18-month blockade of the Gulf country by its neighbours, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has invited the Qatari emir to the conference. Since the dispute began back in 2017, Doha has sought diplomatic and economic assistance from Tehran. This warming of relations has further exacerbated tensions between Qatar and the rest of the Gulf, heightening the prospect that the conflict sees no imminent resolution.
The diplomatic and economic isolation of Qatar has largely benefitted the Islamic Republic. It has forced the world’s richest country per-capita to rely heavily on Iranian imports and shipping routes. This economic respite will be crucial for Tehran as the country has felt the burden of US sanctions, which have forced many multinational corporations to abandon their investments in Iran.
In the medium to long-term, expect a deepening of economic and diplomatic ties between the two states. At today’s conference, Tehran will likely push for construction contracts for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar, to be awarded to Iranian companies.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.