News ID: 261440
Published: 0331 GMT November 11, 2019

Oman urges dialogue with Iran, stays neutral in regional tensions

Oman urges dialogue with Iran, stays neutral in regional tensions

Oman’s oil minister called on Monday for dialogue with Iran, saying his country had been campaigning for talks and would remain neutral toward regional tensions.

“Oman has always maintained that, yes, we are always neutral as neutrality suits us and suits the way we manage the differences,” Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy told an oil conference in the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported.

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have risen since attacks on oil tankers in vital global shipping lanes this summer, including one off the UAE coast, as well as a major assault on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Washington blamed Iran which has denied the unsubstantiated claim as fabrication.

Tensions between Iran and the US have also been running high since Washington’s decision in May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.

However, Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has banned Iranian officials from holding such talks unless the United States returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.

On Thursday, Iran said it had resumed uranium enrichment at its Fordo nuclear site, stepping further away from its deal with world powers after the United States pulled out of it in 2018.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also urged that Iran come to the negotiating table with world powers and Persian Gulf Arab nations to deescalate tensions and revive Iranian economy.

"Further escalation at this point serves no one and we strongly believe that there is room for collective diplomacy to succeed," Gargash said in a speech in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

He warned against a "false choice" between war and the "flawed" atomic deal.

Gargash said new talks with Iran should not just deal with its nuclear work, but also address its ballistic missile program and regional activities, the same issues that the US has been seeking to include in a new deal with Iran.

However, Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the country’s ballistic missile program and its role in the region were not up for negotiation.






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