Iran is sending more than 1,000 tonnes of food, including fruits and vegetables, to Qatar every day amid the Gulf crisis, after major countries in the Gulf led by Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Doha.
The UAE, Yemen and Egypt had announced earlier this month that they will be joining Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar. The nations said that their decision was based on the claims that Qatar supported Islamist groups and associated with terrorism. Doha, however, denies all the allegations.
Iran, which is an arch-rival of Saudi Arabia, began exporting food to Qatar just days after the Gulf crisis left Qatar isolated, without any links to land transport which the country typically relies on to import food.
The director of ports in Iran's Bushehr province, Mohammad Mehdi Bonchari, said that Tehran is shipping 1,100 tonnes of food every day to Qatar, according to Fars news agency.
Fars agency also quoted the head of Iran's cattle exporting association saying that at least 66 tonnes of beef have already been exported to Qatar, with another 90 tonnes worth of meet expected to be flown to the country.
Qatar's major airlines have been forced to change the routes of some of their flights to avoid the skies of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain, as their airspace has been banned for the country.
The airlines have rerouted those particular airlines to go through Iran now, which have increased traffic in the Iranian airspace by almost 17 percent, according to the news agency. Iran has also urged Qatar and the Gulf countries involved in the dispute to resolve their differences through a dialogue.
Iran is flying the food shipment to Iran. Reports state that Iran's national airline told AFP on June 11 that it had sent five planes of vegetables to Qatar to aid the countrystuck in tough circumstances.