Oman ready to launch a dialogue between Iran and the Gulf states

This is what emerges at the end of the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Muscat and Tehran. The Islamic Republic is also in favor of reducing tension in the area, resurrecting the Hormuz peace initiative. The Sultanate is ready to deploy its own means to "launch a constructive dialogue".

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is in favor of reducing tension between Gulf countries. This is what emerges at the end of the meeting, which took place yesterday in the capital of the Islamic Republic, between Tehran's chief diplomat and Oman's counterpart Yousuf bin Alawi, recently returned from an official visit to the United States. The opening is confirmed by bin Alawi himself, who added that Muscat is "ready to launch a dialogue between the Gulf States and Iran".

Discussions between Zarif and his Omani counterpart were held a week after face to face between bin Alawi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, Tehran's number one enemy. For the second time since July, the head of Muscat diplomacy has been sent to Iran by the Sultanate, a nation that in the past has been able to favor mediation between opposing fronts in the Middle East.

The same US Secretary of State Pompeo underlined the role of Muscat, thanking the Sultan for "collaboration in terms of security and counter-terrorism".

In a statement at the end of the meeting, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Zarif "insisted on the need to reduce tensions in the region", adding that Iran is serious about the "Hormuz peace initiative" or "hope" project aimed at safety in the Gulf. President Hassan Rouhani presented the plan during the UN General Assembly in September, urging states in the area, including Saudi Arabia, to join the project.

Later, at the beginning of last month, Rouhani himself had sent a letter to the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, relaunching the invitation to dialogue to resolve disputes in the Middle Eastern region. For many analysts and experts it was an important step for the main Shiite power towards Sunni rivals, with whom there have been strong tensions for some time, exacerbated following the attack on Saudi oil wells.

In this context of clashes and attempts at dialogue between regional powers is the tension between Iran and the United States, triggered by  US President Donald Trump's decision in May 2018 to pull out of the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) ​​and impose the toughest sanctions in history, which hit hard the population and triggered a serious economic crisis.

Commenting on the diplomatic meetings in Washington and Tehran, Oman's foreign minister underlines that "it is not the interest of any Gulf nation to escalate tensions." The Sultanate, he adds, "is ready to deploy all its resources and capabilities to put an end to the current situation of tension and prepare for the launch of a constructive dialogue between nations". The realities of the region, concludes bin Alawi, "require dialogue and mutual understanding", a "global and inclusive conference" with the participation of all interested nations.