Oman's Mediation Role Welcome

Oman's Mediation Role Welcome
Oman's Mediation Role Welcome

A former foreign ministry spokesman says some believe that the current round of negotiations on Tehran's nuclear program initiated in Oman months before the incumbent administration took office last year and is set to be finalized there too.

Referring to upcoming nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) scheduled to start in the Omani capital Muscat this week with a trilateral meeting between Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU's coordinator Catherine Ashton, Hamidreza Asefi said, "Iran has enjoyed more distinctive and friendly relations with Oman compared to other Persian Gulf Arab states since the 1979 Islamic Revolution," ISNA reported.

"Omani officials have always adopted a tactful and logical stance vis-à-vis Iran, which gives the two states an edge in bilateral relations," he commented. He enumerated various locations in which the negotiations have been held over the past decade, such as some European cities, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iraq and the United States, and said, "The positive role Oman has always played in (mediating in) issues between Iran and the US is the reason behind choosing the country as an appropriate place to host the nuclear negotiations."


The former ambassador to the UAE said, "Oman has the capacity to effectively act as a catalyst in a number of subjects as in Iran-US issues, but in nuclear talks, the role of the P5+1 is more prominent than the hosting party."

"In case the P5+1 recognizes Iran's nuclear rights, then Oman's mediating role could accelerate the talks, but if they do not do so and insist on their excessive demands, the role of the mediating party, no matter which country, will be trivial and peripheral," he stated.

In response to a question on the necessity of a mediating country while Iran and the US are engaged in a direct negotiating process, Asefi said, "Oman's role is too limited in such a high-profile subject, since the P5+1 is not affected by Oman in all issues."

"Oman should be able to convince the negotiating party that recognizing Iran's nuclear rights will be to the benefit of all countries and the region. It should not be disregarded that the capacity of Oman or any other mediator is limited in negotiations," he commented.

Referring to nuclear issues, such as the number of centrifuges that Iran would maintain under a comprehensive nuclear deal with the major powers, which are raised by some US media, the former foreign ministry official said, "The US has tried to drag such issues into media from the early stages in the negotiations. They do so to assess Iran's potential reactions or to buy time to review or modify their offers."

He emphasized that raising such issues in media "not only is meant to wage a war of nerves, but it serves a scenario created to learn about the probable reactions of Iran."