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Oman-Iran relations will survive pressures

Friday, June 7, 2019

Subject

Oman-Iran relations

Significance

Oman is the only Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member that maintains formal relations with all states in the region, including Iran, which has fallen out with the two most powerful GCC states, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Oman’s diplomatic channel to Tehran enables it to play the role of mediator between the United States and its Arab allies on the one side and Iran on the other. Indeed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Sultan Qaboos on May 16 to discuss alleged Iranian threats.

Impacts

  • An outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Iran would leave Oman isolated from other GCC states.
  • Oman would reap economic benefits as a transshipment centre for Gulf states if Saudi Arabia and the UAE fight with Iran.
  • A worsening Gulf crisis would increase smuggling between Iran and Oman, with Tehran eager to keep supplying Huthi rebels in Yemen.

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