Qatar Armed Forces- File photo
CAIRO – 18 July 2017: In a mounting state of anger, Gulf Twitter users launched a new hashtag called “Iranian military base in Qatar”, following a post on Twitter by an Iranian channel , in which they refer to Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani’s desire to establish an Iranian military base in Qatar.
The Iranian Alalam news channel posted on its official Twitter account, “Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani discussed with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani his keen interest to set an Iranian military base in Qatar to enhance security and stability in the region”.
Following the Iranian tweet, a state of anger engrossed Twitter accounts of Gulf users, and some nationals participated in the campaign, using the “Iranian military base in Qatar” hashtag.
A Saudi user tweeted, “Yesterday, Qatar was stable and secure among Gulf countries, and today, Iran sets a military base in Qatar to be the beginning of Qatar’s end.”
A Twitter user also slammed Qatar’s policy saying, “So, evidently Qatar is not backing down on the support for terror, it is opening an Iranian base.”
The Iranian channel’s website denied this tweet, alleging that their official Twitter account was hacked six days earlier.
In the same context, many Iranian and Qatari media channels confirmed the meeting between Tamim and Rouhani to establish an Iranian military base in Qatar on the pretext of maintaining the security and stability of the region.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf states have been strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim Al Thani’s statements regarding Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise”.
On June 5, 2017, several countries, including Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, severed diplomatic ties with Doha over accusations of Qatar backing and funding terrorist groups.
On June 23, 2017, the four Arab states boycotting Qatar sent Doha a list of 13 demands, including downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and cutting off any joint military cooperation with it.