Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian President, might meet

Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani - AP

The last month has seen a flurry of activity by Oman that seems to be focused on Iran and a meeting between Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani.

This may have been set off by a meeting on March 13th  James Mattis the USA Defense Secretary met with Sultan Qaboos in Muscat .


Sultan Qaboos and James Mattis
Sultan Qaboos and James Mattis


Following this meeting On March 16th ‘s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi flew into Tehran, Iran to meet with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad.

Yousef bin Alawi and Mohammed Javad
Yousef bin Alawi and Mohammed Javad in Tehran

Oman has had good relations with Iran, irrespective of the composition of the Iranian government, since Sultan Qaboos became Oman’s ruler in 1970.

On July 2nd Yusuf bin Alawi met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif who had flown into Salalah, Oman. They “exchanged views on the latest regional and international issues of common interest.”

Clearly, one of those international issues has to be the current rhetoric emanating from Donald Trump and his threatened increased sanctions due to come into force on 6th August. The substance of the meeting between Yusuf bin Alawi and Javad Zarif  must have been positive as over the last few days Oman’s Minister Yusuf bin Alawi flew to the USA, for what seems to have been a very productive slew of meetings.

Yusuf bin Alawi met with the USA Defense Secretary James Mattis on 27th July where they discussed a “broad range of security issues”.

On 30th July Yusuf bin Alawi met with the USA Secretary of State (Foreign Minister) Mike Pompeo and separately the Speaker of the USA House of Representatives, Paul Ryan

Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani may meet
Donald Trump

After the various meetings, Donald Trump announced on 30th July his willingness to meet the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani  ‘No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet. Whenever they want,’”

Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani may meet
Hassan Rouhani

Iran has the support not only of Oman, but also the European Union with its endeavours to assure the USA that it has complied with all measures required of it under the Nuclear Treaty.

Guest Palace Muscat
Guest Palace Muscat

Recently Donald Trump has threatened Iran, so it looks as if Oman may have persuaded the USA to examine these Iranian assurances positively and who knows, there is a magnificent Guest Palace in Muscat that can readily accommodate their meeting – or the newly renovated Al Bustan Palace

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman