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Qatar has banned the US from using its military base against Iran

June 24, 2024 at 9:26 pm

Ex-Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

Qatar has declared that the US is barred from using its airspace in Qatar, according to an April report in the Iranian government-controlled media.

Doha hosts key leaders of the Hamas organisation, the report says.

The report says the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) published, on Thursday, a scarcely noted 2012 interview with Qatar’s former Prime Minister, Hamid Bin Jassim, who said Qatari foreign policy prohibits military operations against Iran.

Hamad Bin Jassim (HBJ) told the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera Network in a 1 April, 2012 interview that “The Iranians and the Americans know that we oppose any military action against Iran.”

When asked by Al-Jazeera “Will the Americans ask for your permission?” the former Prime Minister said, “The Americans know that we will not accept any hostile action from Qatar, against any neighbouring country, especially against Iran.”

Rich Goldberg, who served on the National Security Council during the Trump administration, told Iran International, “There’s little value in having a base right next to our greatest threat in the region if a primary condition for having the base is that it can never be used to confront that threat.” Goldberg is a senior advisor for the Washington-based Foundation for Defence of Democracies.

When approached by Iran International for a comment, a US State Department spokesperson said, “We refer you to US CENTCOM for comment on Al Udeid. We refer you to the Government of Qatar for comment on their policy.”

However, in response to an Iran International press query to CENTCOM, a US defence official, said, “We have no additional information to provide as this topic is not a Department of Defence decision. Therefore, we defer you to the US State Department for comment.”

Qatar’s disruption of US military activity may have also weakened the US response to the Iran-backed militia, Kataib Hezbollah, in Iraq that murdered 3 US soldiers in Jordan in late January.

READ: Europeans fear Middle East on brink after ‘unacceptable’ Hezbollah threats