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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

(reuters_tickers)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called on Europe on Monday to use its influence to promote dialogue in the Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar earlier this month.

Blaming Iran or Qatar for "terrorism" is an attempt by those countries to avoid taking responsibility for their own failures in addressing the demands of their own people, he said in a speech in the German capital in which he argued for a new regional security mechanism for the Gulf countries.

"One day it's Iran, today it's Qatar," he said. "It's an attempt to evade responsibility, escape accountability for this very fundamental ... failure of the state system to address, to respond to the demands of its populus."

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has voiced support for Qatar in its confrontation with Iran's rival Saudi Arabia and its allies who accuse Qatar of supporting Islamist militants, an allegation Qatar denies.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Writing by Madeline Chambers)

Reuters