Oman, Iran hold crucial talks amid Gulf tensions

H E Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah (left) and Mohammad Javad Zarif (ONA)

Tehran, Iran - 

H E Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and other Iranian officials in Tehran, on Saturday.

Both sides discussed several topics of mutual interest and the latest developments in the Gulf region. It was also stressed to find suitable solutions, contributing to the peace and stability in the region as well as safety of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz.

In a tweet, Zarif said, “Very pleased to host my distinguished friend Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s FM, in Tehran today.”

Zarif said that they discussed bilateral relations, regional developments and security in the Arabian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

The talks between Zarif and H E Alawi centred on the ‘latest regional and international issues’, the Iranian foreign ministry said in a brief statement posted on its Telegram channel. H E Alawi also met Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. Good neighbourly ties Oman has maintained good relations with Iran throughout successive regional crises, allowing it at times to play a key mediating role, including with the US.

Tensions in the Gulf have soared since last year when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the country.

In retaliation, Iran said in May it would disregard certain limits the deal set on its nuclear programme and threatened to take further measures if remaining parties to the deal, especially European nations, did not help it circumvent the US sanctions.

Tensions have escalated further in the region with a string of incidents involving tankers and drones. The US and Saudi Arabia accused Iran of being behind multiple attacks on tankers in the Gulf in June, which the country denies.

 

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On July 19, a British-flagged tanker was impounded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards with its 23-crew aboard in the Strait of Hormuz.

The seizure was seen by London as a tit-for-tat move for the British authorities detaining an Iranian tanker off the UK’s overseas territory of Gibraltar in early July.

Oman has called for the release of the UK-flagged Stena Impero and for London and Tehran to resolve their dispute diplomatically.

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