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Raisi’s visit to expand Oman-Iran ties

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The relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which extend back to the ancient civilisations, are built on mutual respect, cooperation and non-interference.

Monday’s visit of President Ebrahim Raisi to Oman following an invitation of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik is set to further cement the economic, political and diplomatic relations between the two countries.

His Majesty the Sultan will meet with the president and the leaders are expected to discuss various international and regional issues of interest to the region at the political and economic levels and sign a number of cooperation documents.

The Iranian president will also have a meeting with Iranians residing in Oman and Omani businesses during his one-day trip.

This is the first time an Iranian president is visiting Oman after His Majesty Haitham bin Tarik ascended to the throne on January 11, 2020. Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji travelled to Oman on Saturday, ahead of the President’s visit, to meet with Omani counterpart and other officials.

Oman’s policy of maintaining relations with states, and not political systems, is evident in its relations with Iran. Oman realises the vital role Iran plays in the region and its effect on regional politics and stability.

The relations come within the context of Oman’s independent approach to foreign policy matters, led by late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, who since coming to power in 1970 has managed to strike a balance between the conflicting interests of Oman’s larger and more powerful regional neighbours.

The good relations between Muscat and Tehran have contributed to resolving a number of contemporary regional issues, as the two countries hold discussions on a regular basis. On multiple occasions, the Omani government has endeavoured to reconcile relations between other GCC states and Iran.

On Wednesday, His Majesty issued a Royal decree on his country’s cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The decree calls for “the ratification of an agreement of cooperation between the government of the Sultanate of Oman and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on maritime transport, signed in Tehran on 8 December 2019.”

Hossein Noushabadi, member of the Iranian Parliament's International Diplomacy and National Interests faction, said that the Iranian president's visit to Oman can play an important role in developing relations and expanding ties between Iran in the southern part of the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

“Thanks to the strategic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Sultanate of Oman and the joint management of the two countries in the Strait of Hormuz as the most important shipping, transportation and energy highway, strengthening and managing this issue can be very important during this visi," the senior parliamentarian said in an interview.

Last week, a delegation of 50 Iranian businessmen and those active in the economic sector paid a visit to Oman to help set the stage for the promotion of economic relations and trade between the two neighbours.

Referring to the visit, which is the first to be paid by an Iranian president in two years ago, Iran’s Ambassador to Oman Ali Najafi said that the Islamic Republic of Iran supports Oman’s constructive role in the regional developments.

“Iranian government has a definite strategic approach for developing ties with neighbours, so Oman as Iran’s neighbour in the south of the Sea of Oman in the southeast of the country can have an important position in the policy on [relations with] neighbours," he said in an interview to IRNA.

The head of the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran, Alireza Peymanpak, who headed the trade delegation to Oman, said in his comments on his Twitter page that Omani officials are determined to expand trade relations with Tehran at all levels.

"We placed emphasis on developing transportation infrastructure to facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries. It was also decided to set up a joint working group on maritime transportation to conduct research studies to find technical solutions (to tackle the challenges in this regard)," Peymanpak was quoted as saying by the International Affairs Department of Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade.

The total number of Iranian companies investing in Oman is 2,710, including 1,163 Iranian investors with 100 per cent ownership and 1,547 with Omani-Iranian partnerships. The trade exchange last year amounted to $1.336 billion.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has international borders with 13 countries. Iran shares a total of 5,894 km of land borders with its neighbours, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. It also has a total of 2,440 km of coastline, sharing maritime borders with 6 other countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


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