KUWAIT CITY (AP) The bride of a prominent Shiite cleric is about to get a big surprise when she meets her new husband.
The wedding was supposed to take place in Qatar, but a U.S. government official said Thursday that he and his wife, whose marriage will take place Aug. 30, were told by the Qatari government that the couple would need to leave Qatar.
The wedding was originally scheduled for Aug. 17 in the United Arab Emirates, according to Qatari news agency WAM.
A U.N. report issued earlier this month warned that Saudi Arabia is “actively engaging in widespread, systematic persecution of the Shia minority and its allies, including Shia religious minorities and members of the minority’s own security forces.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is the country’s top religious leader.
U.S.-backed forces have been engaged in a war against Iran since late 2015, but the U.A.E. has been the main backer of Shiite militias in the country, which has long been the source of U.R.I. funding for Shiite militants.
Kamran al-Riyadh, the head of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the U,S.
decision to revoke his marriage license and that he would not be able to marry his bride in the U.-Qatar capital.
Al-Rijadh said he and the Saudi bride had been promised “full protection of their rights and liberties” in Qatar and would be able “to get married as soon as possible.”
The wedding is not the first time the Qataris have faced challenges from the United States.
The U.K. revoked its diplomatic recognition of Qatar in 2014, and the U in May 2015 revoked Qatar’s entry into the European Union.
The country is a key U.L.O. transit point for Iranian oil shipments to Europe.
Qatar, which is a member of the Uralvagonzavod, is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil and gas.
Qatar has also been a major source of revenue for Iran, a key member of its proxy military alliance, the Islamic Republic of Iran-aligned Hezbollah, which fought against Israel in Syria.
Saudi Arabia has long tried to isolate Iran and has been one of several U.P. allies of Qatar.
It has also said that it considers the Qatas, a Shiite minority group, to be Iranian agents.
The Saudi government has been cracking down on the Qataas and other Shia religious groups since the 1979 Iranian revolution, which brought an Islamic republic to power.
Since then, Iran has been trying to exert its influence on the region and has launched military strikes against Saudi Arabia and its ally Iran.