Thursday, March 06, 2014

Hormuz Causeway Plans

Oman has come to play a crucial role as diplomatic mediator between Iran and the rest of the world, as it has had a strongly pro-Western orientation since Sultan Qaboos came to power in 1970 and yet maintains close economic ties to Iran.  These ties have strengthened dramatically lately, as symbolized by plans for a motor causeway across the Strait of Hormuz connecting the two countries:
Oman and Iran are planning to build a causeway linking the two countries over the strait of Hormuz, the Iranian ambassador in Muscat was cited by local media as saying...
Sibeveih said that the project would be a bridge of “peace and friendship between Iran and Oman, other GCC countries and Yemen,” according to Al Watan daily newspaper. He said that the bridge would further help in strengthening relations between Iran and Oman.
He pointed out that the project would connect Iran economically with the GCC countries and Yemen, through Oman...
This development comes shortly after the agreement between the two countries to increase the number of flights between the two countries from 14 to 30 per week.
The two countries also agreed to open the air for cargo flights to further cement economic cooperation. They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of training of personnel, and mutual support in international forums for the benefit of the two countries.
We'll see if this actually gets built.  The King Fahd Causeway connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia was almost two decades in the making, while the proposed Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge can't get past the planning stages, and is perennially delayed by conflict.  This Hormuz bridge would be about the same length as the latter (and longer than the former), and have to allow for all the oil tankers passing through those waters.    For the foreseeable future, expect this to be a rhetorical symbol of friendship rather than a physical one.

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