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US calls on Qatar to cut Iran militia support

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports during a ceremony at the White House Thursday, March 8, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
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The Trump administration has called on Qatar to cut support for pro-Iranian militias in the region, according to a British newspaper.

The request comes after a number of e-mails were disclosed allegedly between senior officials in Doha and leading figures of Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The e-mails show Doha paid hundreds of millions of dollars to secure the release of Qatari hostages held by Shiite militias. They include conversations with Qassem Soleimani, head of Tehran’s Al-Quds force, and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Both are designated terrorist groups in the US and other countries.

“What these e-mails show is that a number of senior Qatari government officials have developed cordial relations with senior figures in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, as well as a number of Iranian-sponsored terrorist organizations,” a senior US security official told the Telegraph.

“At a time when the US government is trying to persuade Iran to end its support for terror groups in the Middle East, we do not believe it is helpful that Qatar continues to have ties with such organizations.”

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In one of the e-mails, a senior Qatari official says millions of dollars were paid to Soleimani in April 2017, and another payment was made to an Iraqi Shiite militant group.

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© 2018 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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