A turret machine gun is displayed at the IRGC booth at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition. March 22, 2022

A turret machine gun is displayed at the IRGC booth at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition. March 22, 2022

Iran's Presence At Qatar's Defense Exhibition Draws US Criticism

3/24/2022

Iran’s participation in a defense show in Qatar has drawn criticism from the United States, as Revolutionary Guard commanders set up shop to showcase weapons.

"We reject the presence of Iran at a maritime defense exhibit, considering that it’s Iran that single-handedly is threatening maritime stability throughout the Gulf region," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

Their presence was striking when other Sunni Muslim Gulf states and Israel are alarmed at the prospect of the United States removing its terrorist designation of the IRGC as part of efforts to revive a nuclear pact with Iran.

The Iran booth was organized by Iran's Ministry of Defense and the commanders were part of a broader Iranian delegation.

A Qatari official said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday no invitation had been sent to the IRGC.

"The participation in the event and pavilion was by the Iranian Ministry of Defense and there were no invitations sent to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard."

Washington is reportedly considering removing the IRGC from a terrorist organization blacklist in return for Iranian assurances about “de-escalation” in the region.

Qatar's DIMDEX exhibition drew international defense firms hoping to boost sales to wealthy Gulf states that are moving to expand the military capabilities of the energy-producing region.

Qatar has good ties with Iran, with which it shares a giant gas field. In contrast, Qatar's neighbor Saudi Arabia is locked in several proxy conflicts with Tehran, which strives for regional dominance.

With reporting by Reuters

Economics Daily
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