The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation.
Since the petrodollar was established, US currency has monopolized international trade through oil deals with OPEC and continuous military interventions. Despite the mainstream narrative, there are several other reasons why Qatar is in the crosshairs. Over the past two years, it conducted over $86 billion worth of transactions in Chinese yuan and has signed other agreements with China that encourage further economic cooperation. Qatar also shares the world’s largest natural gas field with Iran, giving the two countries significant regional influence to expand their own trade deals.
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar have reportedly issued a list of demands to end a major Gulf crisis, insisting that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran. In the 13-point list, the countries also demand that Qatar sever all alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIL (also known as ISIS).
The US state department says it is "mystified" that Gulf states have not released details about their grievances towards Qatar more than two weeks after they imposed a blockade on the country. Heather Nauert, the state department spokesperson, said in Tuesday's press briefing that the more time goes by, "the more doubt is raised" about the anti-Qatar measures imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and their allies.
As a member of the US policy team that first applied sanctions against Iran when our diplomats were being held hostage in Tehran, we drew the line at food and medicine. That has remained true in the succeeding 37 years. Despite all the onerous sanctions that the US has imposed against Iran over the years, which verge on economic warfare, there has never been a formal restriction on sales of food or medicine, including by US companies. The Saudi-UAE boycott, however, closed off food and medicine shipments to Qatar wherever possible, in the middle of Ramadan. I don’t know if this technically constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law, but it is certainly drastic by modern standards of political conflict.
Saudi Arabia's newly found aggressiveness, first directed at Iran and more recently at Qatar, which is emboldened by its closer ties to the US under the hawkish Trump administration, has further destabilised the Middle East and galvanised terrorist elements into action.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt published a list of 59 people and 12 groups with links to Qatar late on Thursday, alleging that they have ties to "terrorism". "The recent joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE regarding a 'terror finance watch list' once again reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact," the Qatari government said in response.