Oman’s top diplomat in Iran talks amid mounting Gulf tensions

Oman's top diplomat in Iran talks amid mounting Gulf tensions

Oman’s minister responsible for foreign affairs held talks with Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday, Iranian state media reported, as tensions mount in the Gulf after Tehran detained a British-flagged oil tanker.

Oman maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran and has previously been a go-between for the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Washington and Tehran are in a protracted stand-off over Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes, and tensions have flared after Iran downed a U.S. drone over the Gulf and the United States said it brought down at least one Iranian drone, which Tehran denied.

Tensions between Iran and Britain also escalated after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized a British-flagged oil tanker on July 19. That came two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, state television reported, without giving details of the talks.