Iran, Russia and Taliban are guests at arms expo in Qatar, nominal US ally

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Iran appears in Qatar Arms Expo This week, Doha continues to affirm its defense and strategic partnership with the United States, providing Tehran with a high-profile platform to promote its military capabilities.

The Islamic nation was one of several countries at the meeting hostile to the United States, raising concerns that Qatar could help arm America’s enemies. But one expert told Fox News Digital that such events often bring strange bedfellows together.

“It’s not surprising that Qatar invites Iran, Russia and other countries. I even heard that the Taliban sent a delegation there for a defense exhibition. So in many ways, this is typical of Qatar’s openness to everyone. ” Matt McGinnis, a senior fellow at the Institute for War Studies, told Fox Digital News.

“At the same time, it will certainly heighten concerns among the United States and other partners about the role Qatar may play in facilitating arms sales and the proliferation of more advanced weapons from countries such as Iran and Russia,” McInnis added. “I think it’s something that the United States is not happy with, but at the same time, it’s normal to a certain extent Qatar will be such host“.

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Visitors look at a model of a Qatari fighter jet on display during the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference at the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha March 6, 2024. (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) in Doha, Qatar, took place from March 4 to 6 and showcased technology, maritime and defense industry capabilities, including VIP delegations from countries around the world. The United States, Australia, Britain, China, France and Japan are just some of the heavyweights showing up this week, according to the exhibition website.

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The delegation also included Russia and Iran, with Iran going a step further and showcasing a number of new weapons – drones, guns, missiles and radar systems, including the Shahed-149 missile, which was originally unveiled in 2021, according to Tasnim News Agency. Man-machine. Channels linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) highlighted Iran’s presence at the show and urged the United States to work to prevent Iran from participating in any future arms expos.

“Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s Most important state sponsor of terrorism “Iran possesses the largest arsenal of ballistic missiles in the Middle East and is working hard to sell its weapons to the world,” FDD wrote. “Washington should work to prevent Iran from participating in arms expos and confront its role as an arms supplier.”

iran defense expo

Models of military vessels are displayed at the IRGC booth during the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference in Doha, Qatar, March 22, 2022. (Reuters/Imad Keledi)

“Weapons produced in Iran will not stay in Iran,” the team wrote. “Washington must begin denying Iran access to arms expos.”

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McInnis said U.S. officials have begun talking about U.S. ties with Qatar, which also has ties to Hamas, which has helped broker hostage release deals since the Oct. 7 Israeli attack, noting Washington’s concern over the current bear some responsibility for the situation.

China Display DIMDEX

On March 5, 2024, visitors stopped in front of the booth of China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation at the Doha International Coastal Defense Exhibition and Conference held at the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha, Qatar. (Noushad Thekkayil/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Qatar’s relationships with Hamas, Iran and other groups will come under increased U.S. scrutiny,” McInnes said.

“Frankly, some of this is part of our policy and Israel’s policy to have connections with these groups through Qatar. So we take some responsibility for that. My expectation and understanding is that there will be some serious dialogue between the U.S. As we maintain our alliance, we need greater security assurances in their relationships with countries like Iran and groups like the Taliban.”

Middle East media “Al-Monitor” also reported that the Taliban’s acting defense minister Malawi Mohammad Jacob Mujahid attended the exhibition and planned to meet with Qatari defense officials during the event.

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The display came as the United States and Qatar met and reaffirmed their commitment to bilateral security and defense cooperation.A joint statement issued after a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani listed key priorities, including Concerns about Afghanistan and Ukraine.

Qatar military display

Exhibitors stand next to a pavilion of military and police protective equipment during the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference at the Qatar National Convention Center in Doha March 6, 2024. (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

The statement did not mention Iran but highlighted the two countries’ strong security partnership on counterterrorism and pledged to “build greater cooperation in aviation and border security, information sharing, countering violent extremism, and countering terrorism and terrorist financing.” cooperation and capabilities.”

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“The United States appreciates strong cooperation Continued counter-terrorism “To further deepen bilateral law enforcement and counter-terrorism cooperation, the FBI and the Qatari Interior Ministry have committed to sign a new memorandum of cooperation on biometric data sharing,” the statement said.

Neither the U.S. State Department nor Qatari officials, including the Foreign Ministry, the Qatari Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Embassy in Qatar responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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