Diplomacy and security in the first visit of the Sultan of Oman to Tehran

In recent days, Muscat has facilitated the exchange of prisoners between Iran and Belgium, reactivating its role as a mediator in the region and with the West. During the two days, four memorandums of understanding were signed between the parties. The Sultan met with President Raisi and Supreme Leader Khamenei, who recalled the division of the important Strait of Hormuz.

Tehran () – Regional diplomacy, security issues and new partnership projects in the private sector were the central themes of the Sultan of Oman’s first visit to Tehran, two days after the prisoner exchange between Iran and Belgium that it took place thanks to the mediation of Muscat. For some time now, the sultanate has played the role of intermediary between the Islamic Republic and the Western foreign ministries, which followed Haitham bin Tariq al-Said’s two-day visit to the Iranian capital, where he met with President Ebrahim Raisi and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The respective delegations signed four memorandums of understanding aimed at expanding economic and energy cooperation between the parties.

The expansion of bilateral relations in all fields “will benefit both parties”, said Khamenei. Hence the invitation to “strengthen” ties between Iran and Oman, whose importance is strategic, among other things because, as he pointed out, “the two countries share the very important waterway that separates the Strait of Hormuz”, one of the main centers of international trade.

In the joint note that was published at the end of the visit, the sultan’s first in Tehran and which concluded a few hours ago, the two parties highlighted the role of the “private sector” in expanding “economic cooperation” and support for the growth of “bilateral trade”. There was no shortage of debates on the main “political, cultural and security” issues with the aim of “consolidating the foundations of peace and stability” in the region. For its part, the sultanate has played a leading role in mediation and confrontation in recent years, starting with Yemen.

In addition, Oman has mediated the release and exchange of several foreigners or expatriates with dual nationality. The most recent took place this weekend, when Tehran released a Belgian humanitarian collaborator arrested in 2022 and sentenced to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes for espionage, in exchange for an Iranian diplomat sentenced to 20 years in Brussels for a failed attempt. of attack. However, dozens of other people await their release in the Islamic Republic’s jails, most of them on charges of espionage and security-related crimes, although critics accuse Tehran of using prisoners to extract concessions.

Among other issues, the Iranian nuclear issue was discussed along with the long-stalled dialogues to reactivate the agreement signed in 2015 (JCPOA) with the 5+1 countries and which Trump repudiated, as well as the efforts to achieve greater détente between Tehran and Egypt. Many issues were discussed, but the accusations by international NGOs about human rights violations and the weapons and drones that Iran supplies to Russia in the context of the war launched against Ukraine remained in the background.

Source link