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General

Yusuf bin Alawi in Iran; Tehran diplomatic center of region, world

Tehran, A few days after the visit of the Iraqi prime minister, the dispatch of a special envoy of the French president and more apparent practical defeat of selfdeclared WesternArabian alliance in Yemen, the significant trip of Oman's Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Allawi to Iran has turned Tehran to the center of diplomacy in the region and the world.

According to the Oman Foreign Ministry's Twitter account, bin Allawi's visit to Tehran is "in the context of bilateral relations, ongoing consultations, and in particular on recent developments in the region", and the foreign ministers of the two countries will exchange views "on bilateral relations, regional and international issues".

In a statement last week, Oman, in an implicit reference to the developments in the region, in particular the events of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, has announced that it would "pursue free shipping and related issues in the Strait of Hormuz", and urged all parties to resolve disagreements, through diplomatic means while maintaining selfrestraint.

** Positive neighborliness ties

Historical challenges, the 1970s revolts of the Dhofar province, which were the aftermath of the Cold War and which were triggered and supported by Democratic People's Republic of South Yemen and the former Soviet Union, ultimately contained by the intervention of Iran, which was an experience led to political realism of Sultan Qaboos.

Perhaps from the time that he forever found the significance of his great and historic neighbor until later in the 1980s, when the crisis spread throughout the Persian Gulf, Sultan Qaboos did not forget the importance of Iran, and he insisted on constant strategies of relations with his neighbors.

After the end of the Iraq war, Oman proceeded a policy of reconciliation with Tehran. Then Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, in 1989, visited Oman several times.

In August 2010, Oman and Iran signed a security pact, and have recently developed the "Hengam" oil field in the Persian Gulf for an estimated value of $ 450 million.

Indeed, Muscat different approach to Tehran in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council has a role of absorber and has effectively reduced the influence of Riyadh on the small memberstates of the council for total convergence and weakened the West's efforts to isolate Tehran.

In total, the Muscat Foreign Policy approach is separate from other Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The country hosted the first talks between Tehran and the West for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program and the first destination of the Hassan Rouhani's trip to the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

During the visit, a $1 billion gas pipeline contract was signed between the two countries.

Iran's and Oman's trade relations albeit slower, but in parallel with the advancement of politics have progressed, so that the volume of trade between the two countries has exceeded one billion dollars, according to the announcement by the Iranian ambassador over the past two years.

In addition to exporting medicine by 10 Iranian pharmaceutical companies, the Islamic Republic and the Omani Sultanate have agreed to further develop banking cooperation and brokerage relations between the two countries.

The Muscat Bank, one of Oman's largest banks, after the nuclear deal and lifting the sanctions, was the first bank to establish a branch in Iran in March 2015.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Sultanate of Oman signed a memorandum of understanding on guarantee on exports on the sideline of the 17th meeting of the Joint Economic Commission of the two countries in the process of the two countries' growing economic development.

The initiatives set out in this memorandum can increase the level of IranOman trade relations and will realize the government's goals to promote bilateral trade relations to $5 billion.

If we want to rank the southern Persian Gulf states on the basis of a diplomatic reality based on the providence and presence in the regional system, Sultan Qaboos certainly has special privileges in over half a century of governing Oman in terms of deep understanding of regional developments and the world.

Yusuf bin Alawi traveled to Iran on May 21 and met with Mohammad Javad Zarif. Saturday's trip is his second visit of Omani veteran diplomat in Iran for less than three months.

After Oman Foreign Minister's visit to Tehran, Chief of Staff of the Iranian President Mahmoud Vaezi said that "Oman's Foreign Minister's trip to Tehran has nothing to do with the issue of mediation between Tehran and Washington".

Vaezi added that "the Oman Foreign Minister met with Zarif in a visit to Tehran, and Zarif also presented the report to the government", Bin Alawi spoke in Tehran about bilateral issues and regional developments, and not at all in their discussion the issue of mediation was raised."

Two days after visiting Tehran, Bin Alawi told the BBC, "We are very concerned about the tensions between Iran and the United States and we are trying to curb the current tension with the help of others."

Saturday's trip has been evaluated by news sources in the region and the world as "important," and has once again raised the issue of mediation between Iran and the West, especially the United States.

The sources said that trip of Bin Alawi will take place at a time when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Wednesday with President Sultan Qaboos in a phone call on the issue of Iran and other issues, and the US State Department in a statement announced that Pompeo has spoken about what he called the "threats of Iran in the region" with the king of Oman.

Regional observers say that although the continuation of "secret negotiations" with Oman's mediation in the early 2000's led to open talks and the JCPOA, but now the situation is very different; on the one hand, tensions over the past two months in the region and after attacks on oil tankers in Fujairah and the Oman Sea have spread, and the tensions between Iran and the United States have also heightened after the American drone has been downed and the Iranian tanker has seized an illegal tanker in Gibraltar.

In addition, while the Islamic Republic has been fully committed to nuclear agreement with the European countries and the US over past years, and this has been emphasized by at least 15 IAEA reports, the US President Donald Trump has unilaterally exited the JCPOA which has proven and resumed his sanctions against Iran.

Iran has repeatedly stated that, because of this noncommitment on the part of the United States is not willing to renegotiate its nuclear rights, and in contrast to the strategy of the US withdrawing has taken the strategy of reducing its obligations under the terms of this agreement which has already begun two steps.

The Islamic Republic of Iran says the condition for any negotiation is the return of the United States to its former commitments and the abolition of all sanctions that have been in place for a year and a half, so the US claim to negotiate without a precondition is the only deception of the world's public opinion.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA


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