TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hailed Qatar as a great and grown-up nation and slammed foreign interference in the internal affairs of the Arab country.

In a meeting with Qatar’s new ambassador to Tehran on Tuesday, Rouhani said Iran and Qatar have developed warm and cordial relations in recent years, noting that the stances of the two countries on regional issues have grown much closer.

The president also slammed as “unacceptable” foreign interference in the internal affairs of neighbors, adding, “We believe that the Qatari nation is great and grown-up, and the Qatari authorities are also running their country with prudence.”

“From the viewpoint of Tehran, nobody is allowed to make decisions for the Qatari people and government,” Rouhani underlined.

He further expressed hope for the expansion of Tehran-Doha ties during the new ambassador’s term, pointing to the grounds for cooperation in the economic and political arenas, investment, banking industry and tourism.

For his part, the Qatari envoy said Doha is trying in earnest to broaden ties with Tehran in a way that would serve the interests of both nations.  

In August 2017, Doha sent back its ambassador to Tehran, more than 20 months after he was recalled, and moved to strengthen relations with Tehran amid a diplomatic rift between Qatar and four other Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

The Arab countries allied with Saudi Arabia blame Doha for interfering in the domestic affairs of other states and sponsoring terrorism, an accusation Qatar has rejected.

The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Persian Gulf War, has seen the Arab nations cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major US military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Doha has been receiving fresh food supplies from Iran, which has also allowed Qatar’s national carrier to use its airspace.