By Adel al-Salmi
March 18, 2018
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahran Qassemi rejected on Saturday “speculation” over an Omani mediation between Tehran and Washington.
This effectively eliminated rumors that Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi’s surprise visit to Iran was related to US Defense Secretary James Mattis’ recent trip to Oman.
Qassemi said that the Omani minister is visiting Iran according to a previous plan and as part of efforts to bolster bilateral ties.
He added that the visit was not related to Mattis’ Oman trip or to the developments surrounding the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Oman is an independent state that has very good relations with many world countries,” the spokesman stressed.
Meanwhile, in response to a European move to impose sanctions on Iran over its missile program and its regional role, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that his country’s “defense capabilities, particularly the missile program, which have a deterrent nature, will firmly be continued based on national security necessities.”
He made his remarks during a meeting with the Omani foreign minister in Tehran
Shamkhani added that Iran “will give a proper and due response to the US constant violations of its commitments under the JCPOA and will accept no change, interpretation or new measure that would limit the deal.”
Although the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied having discussed the nuclear file with the Omani official, the meeting between bin Alawi, Shamkhani and Qassemi fueled speculation that they addressed the issue.
Local reports said their talks tackled Tehran’s position on Washington’s insistence to renew negotiations related to the JCPOA, signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
The reports added that the three men also tackled Iran’s regional role.