Mediator of Sultan of Iran and Western Oman visits Tehran

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (right) welcomes the Sultan of Oman to Tehran

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (right) welcomes the Sultan of Oman to Tehran

Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman, whose Gulf country is a longtime mediator between Iran and the West, arrived in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit.

His trip comes just two days after Tehran freed Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele from nearly 15 months of detention in exchange for diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who was detained in Belgium for a 2018 plot to bomb an Israeli rally. Iranian opposition outside Paris.

The Gulf Sultanate helped facilitate the exchange of prisoners.

The Sultan was greeted on arrival at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran on Sunday by First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and later met President Ebrahim Raisi at Sadabad Palace in northern Tehran.

Oman’s official news agency then tweeted that the two leaders had signed memorandums of understanding and agreements on investment promotion.

Ahead of his visit, the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper quoted Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Hamad Al Busaidi as saying that it was “a constructive cooperation and consultation on different issues in the regional arenas. and international”.

The Omani leader’s visit comes a year after Raisi’s visit to Muscat and follows a China-brokered rapprochement agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran announced in March.

Busaidi said Oman was optimistic that the sultan’s “historic” trip to Iran would be “regionally and globally beneficial”.

Oman has close ties with Iran and played a mediating role between Tehran and the United States in the preparation of a nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers in 2015.

The sultanate reportedly hosted secret talks between the United States and Iran ahead of the signing of the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which granted Iran relief from international sanctions in exchange of restrictions on its nuclear program.

The JCPOA collapsed in 2018 after Washington unilaterally withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to suspend implementation of its own commitments to curb nuclear activity.

Stop-start talks that began in April last year to reinstate the nuclear deal have yet to bear fruit.

The last visit by an Omani sultan to Iran was in 2013, when Qaboos bin Said Al Said visited Tehran under President Hassan Rouhani, who was in office when the 2015 deal was struck.

Sultan Qaboos also maintained good relations with Tehran and acted as an intermediary between Western countries and Iran.


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