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US-Oman Port Deal More Directed at China Than Iran

US-Oman Port Deal More Directed at China Than Iran US-Oman Port Deal More Directed at China Than Iran

The port deal signed recently between Oman and the United States is more aimed at limiting China’s influence in the Middle East, say two political analysts who believe that the new development does not signal a shift in Muscat’s policy toward Tehran. 
“By signing an agreement with Oman to use ports in Duqm and Salalah, the United States aims to curb China’s presence in the Arab Middle East rather than using it for military and security purposes against Iran, or for countering the threat of the closure of Strait of Hormuz,” Sabah Zanganeh, an expert on regional affairs, told the Iranian Diplomacy website in a recent interview. 
Washington clinched an agreement with Muscat late March giving the US access to facilities and ports in Duqm as well as in Salalah, Reuters reported.
American officials say the arrangement will allow the US military better access to the Persian Gulf region and reduce the need to send ships through the Strait of Hormuz, a maritime choke point off Iran. 

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