‘Historic’ visit by the Sultan of Oman to Tehran
Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman, whose Gulf nation has traditionally served as a go-between for Iran and the West, touched down in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day trip.
His travel comes only two days after Tehran exchanged diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who was detained in Belgium over a 2018 conspiracy to attack an Iranian opposition demonstration outside Paris, for Belgian relief worker Olivier Vandecasteele, who had spent over 15 months in detention.
Oman assisted in arranging the trade.
According to the presidential website, the sultan met with President Ebrahim Raisi, who remarked that bilateral ties could be improved in a number of areas, including business and “defence and security affairs”.
It reported Raisi as adding that “Tehran and Muscat have similar views on regional cooperation, strengthening and stabilizing the security, peace, and prosperity of the nations of the region.”
Memorandums of Understanding and Agreements on Promoting Investment have been signed, according to a tweet from Oman’s official news agency.
The sultan’s visit follows a reconciliation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran announced in March, which was mediated by China. Raisi visited Muscat a year prior.
Sayyid Badr Hamad Al Busaidi, the foreign minister of Oman, was reported in the daily Asharq al-Awsat as saying that Oman was certain the “historic” trip would be “beneficial in regional and global terms” prior to the sultan’s departure.
Oman has strong links to Iran and assisted in mediating negotiations between Washington and Teheran before to the 2015 nuclear agreement that Iran and global powers came to.
Before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which relieved Iran of international sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, the sultanate is said to have held private US-Iran negotiations.
After Washington unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and reinstituted sanctions in 2018, the JCPOA failed, forcing Iran to halt the execution of its own pledges to restrict nuclear activities.
Stop-start negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement started in April of last year have not yet produced any results.
When Hassan Rouhani, who was in power when the 2015 pact was signed, was president, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman paid his final visit to Tehran in 2013