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Key demands for resolving Qatar crisis

– Downgrade Iran ties –

Riyadh and its allies want Doha to downgrade its warm diplomatic ties with Tehran, Saudi Arabia’s key regional rival.

They accuse Qatar of supporting Iranian-backed groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement — a charge Doha denies.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran sit on opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, where Qatar was part of an alliance fighting Iran-backed Huthi rebels until the crisis broke out.

Riyadh regularly accuses Tehran of interfering across the Middle East, linking it to instability in the kingdom’s east, where minority Shiites live.

But not all Riyadh’s Gulf neighbours share its hostility towards Iran.

Oman and Kuwait retain warm diplomatic ties with Tehran, while the UAE hosts a large Iranian expat population and has strong commercial ties with the Islamic Republic.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said his country wants to bolster relations with Doha.

When Saudi Arabia closed the emirate’s only land border — vital for its food imports — Iran shipped in tonnes of fruits and vegetables.

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