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Sultan Qaboos, UN's Feltman Test Diplomacy with Iran

Sultan Qaboos of Oman and UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman create diplomatic flurry in Tehran.
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani (L) and Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said (C-R) review the honour guard during the latter's welcoming ceremony at Tehran's Saadabad Palace on August 25, 2013. The Iranian authorities have announced that Sultan Qaboos of Oman, the only Gulf leader to maintain good relations with Tehran, arrived in Iran for a focus on economic issues and diplomacy visit. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI        (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
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What was the sultan of Oman doing in Tehran? Many answers might emerge to this question, despite the fact there is one main answer that an Iranian source gave. “Sultan Qaboos is a close friend to Iran; before and after the revolution ties stayed strong between Muscat and Tehran,” the source said, adding, “Now as in 1999, the sultan has an initiative to bridge the gap between Iran and the West, and its Arab neighbors.” 

Back in 1999, then-President Bill Clinton sent a letter via the Omanis to Iran’s then-President Mohammad Khatami. Clinton was a Democrat, as is President Barack Obama, and Khatami was a reformist, as is President Hassan Rouhani. Back then, the reconciliation efforts failed despite all the optimism filling the air, and later on hopes of peace turned into fears of war, with the assumption of power of Presidents George W. Bush [2001-2009] and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [2005-2013].

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