Sunday, November 24, 2013

Qaboos's Role on Iran

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Sultan Qaboos of Oman played a key role in the months of secret negotiations leading up to the Geneva agreement:
As early as 2009, according to Wikileaks, the sultanate offered to arrange talks between the US and Iran – which hadn’t had diplomatic relations for 30 years – on condition that they were kept quiet to avoid “heated atmospherics.” But it was reportedly the hostage crisis of three American “hikers” that brought him into a mediating role between the two sides and helped win the release of Sarah Shroud, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal, who were arrested  and accused of spying while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border.
With that success in his pocket, he offered to facilitate a US-Iran rapprochement, the AP reports. In March, US and Iranian officials met in Oman, Secretary of State John Kerry followed up in May, and the talks took on a momentum of their own after Hassan Rouhani replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran’s June elections.

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