DOHA: Qatar is to restore full diplomatic relations with regional power Iran, its foreign ministry announced Thursday, in a significant move at a time of diplomatic friction within the Gulf. A statement from the ministry said Qatar aimed to bolster relations between the two countries, which share the world’s largest natural gas field. “The State of Qatar announced today that its ambassador to Tehran will return to exercise its diplomatic duties,” read the statement. Qatar was also seeking to “strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields”, it added. Doha pulled its ambassador from Tehran in January 2016 following attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy, spurred by Riyadh’s decision to execute a Shiite cleric in the kingdom. The decision to restore ties comes as Qatar is locked in a diplomatic impasse with Iran’s great regional rival, Saudi Arabia, which has accused Doha of ties to Shiite Iran and support for Sunni Islamist extremist groups. Qatar denies the accusations.