TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Qatar has not received an invitation to two summits, a foreign ministry official said, in an apparent reference to emergency meetings of the Persian Gulf and Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia following mysterious “sabotage” attacks on Saudi and Emirati oil tankers.
“Qatar, which is still isolated from its neighbors, did not receive an invitation to attend the two summits,” the director of the Foreign Ministry Information Office said on Twitter, citing State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, Reuters reported.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry and government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Saudi King Salman on Sunday proposed holding the two summits in Mecca on May 30 to discuss implications of last week’s drone strikes on oil installations in the kingdom and attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
On May 12, four oil tankers, including two Saudi ones, were purportedly targeted near the port of Fujairah, in what the Emirates described as “sabotage” attacks. While Riyadh and Abu Dhabi failed to produce evidence of the attacks on their vessels, pictures emerged of a Norwegian-flagged tanker at the port having sustained some damage.
Two days later, drone strikes were launched on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia. These attacks were believed to have been carried out by Yemen’s Houthi fighters in retaliation for the prolonged Saudi war against Yemen.
The attacks led Saudi Arabia to halt its main cross-country oil pipeline temporarily.
Saudi and Emirati officials have not said who carried out the attacks on the tankers and the pumping stations, but some political and media figures within the United States have claimed that Iran is responsible.
A day after the reported attacks on the oil tankers, Tehran called them “worrying,” and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later called them “suspicious.”
Yemen’s Houthis also said that the retaliatory drone strikes on the Saudi oil pipeline were an act of self-defense and had nothing to do with Iran.