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Iran calls for closer defence ties with Oman

Iran’s ambassador Oman, Ali Najafi Khoshroudi, 12 December 2012 [Bishkek Embassy of Iran/Wikipedia]
Iran’s ambassador Oman, Ali Najafi Khoshroudi, 12 December 2012 [Bishkek Embassy of Iran/Wikipedia]

Iran's ambassador to Muscat has called for more cooperation between Tehran and the Sultanate in the field of defence. During a meeting yesterday Ali Najafi Khoshroudi met with Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for Defence Affairs, Sayyid Shihab Bin Tarik Al-Said, and where he conveyed a congratulatory message on behalf of Iran's Minister of Defence on the occasion of Oman's Armed Forces Day.

Iran's envoy stressed the importance of continued cooperation between the two countries and said "Iran has always extended the hand of friendship to regional countries, and Iran's strategy is based on cooperation, peace and friendship."

For his part, the Omani official expressed hope that the relations between the two countries would develop in various fields, noting the long-established relations between the neighbours. He also stressed that cooperation between the two countries is in the interest of the whole region.

READ: Fearing Iran, Oman hesitant in normalise ties with Israel

Last year Iran and Oman signed a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation in various military fields, both countries have held several joint naval drills over recent years.

Oman was among the other Gulf states to condemn the assassination of leading Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, said to be in charge of the country's nuclear programme. Saudi Arabia was the only country not to denounce his killing, prompting Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh to state: "Unfortunately, only one country (Saudi Arabia) has not adopted any positions. The other six of the seven Persian Gulf Arab states have adopted a serious stance… They either issued statements in condemnation of the assassination, or had phone contacts with Mr. Zarif."

Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, recently hinted that Riyadh was implicated in the assassination, a claim which was rejected by Saudi's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, who accused Iran of being "desperate" to blame the kingdom for anything negative that happens in Iran. On Saturday Iran's President Hassan Rouhani joined other senior officials in blaming Israel for the incident.

READ: US official: Israel behind Iranian scientist's killing

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