Publishe Date: 7:27 PM - 6/25/2013 | Print

Rohani makes Iran's relations with Arab world improved

Politics - Khaba Online's interview with Mehran Kamrava, Iranian scholar in George Town University in Qatar about the recent developments in Qatar.

Zahra Khodaee:
Finally, after lots of speculations and rumors, the youngest Arab world leader officially took power in Qatar. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the 33 year old Sheikh Hamad’s son, an educated person known as "Mr. Sport" learned political techniques in Sheikh Hamad’s school, was being prepared for the position since 2003 and many recently decisions have been made under his guide. However still so young and immature in politics, they called as "consensus man".
Tamim is the new Qatari emir since 25 June but so many questions are still unanswered about political future in this Arab micro country. Will this change Qatari foreign policies? Has the removal of Sheik Hamad Bin Jasim-the main Qatari policy-maker in regional and international scene during 2 decade- a special message?

Khabaronline news agency has talked to Mehran Kamrava, Iranian scholar in George Town University in Qatar about the recent developments in Qatar.

What’s going on in Qatar? Is it really a power transition, going on to happen? If it is true how you will see it?
Given that Qatar is a closed political system, and that decision-makers are only a handful of people, it is extremely to determine exactly what is going on. There is really no reliable information available about exactly what kind of power transition, if any at all, is about to take place.
There has been talk for some time that the Emir will step down.
I think that given everything that is happening in terms of Qatari foreign policy and Qatar's involvement in Syria and elsewhere, I would be very surprised if the Emir actually steps down.

Is it going to change the Qatari active foreign policy?
That is unlikely. When the Emir eventually does depart from the scene, there is bound to be differences in Qatari foreign policy. But, given the interwoven of Qatari foreign policy, I doubt we will see such a change any time in the near future, even when the Emir is no longer in power.

What will happen to Hamed Bin Jasim? Will he be replaced by the young Emir?
Clearly, when the current Heir Apparent takes over, he will bring with him a new team, including a new Foreign Minister and a new PM. At any rate, Hamad Bin Jasim's current position as the Foreign Minister is largely ceremonial and that much of the country's foreign policy is carried out by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Some believe that this may affect Qatar policies toward its neighbors specially Iran.
I sincerely doubt it. With President Rohani assuming office, Iran's relations with the states of the Persian Gulf is likely to improve, including Qatar.

One thinks that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have some discords or rivalry for leading Syrian opposition coalition, is it true or not and if it is, how this competition will be after the power shifts to Tamim?
So far, there does not seem to be any Qatar-Saudi discord over Syria. When he comes to power, Tamim will handle Syria pretty much the same way as it has been handled for the last 2 years--if, that is, the Syrian civil war is still going on at that point.

How do you see the future of Qatar?
Regardless of who is in power, Qatar seems poised for active involvement and engagement in the global economy, continued economic growth and development, and rapid urban expansion. Tamim is likely to be more attentive to the cultural sensibilities of Qatari society, but that does not necessarily mean a change in direction or overall policy.


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