Tripartite deal involving Oman, UAE and Iran to settle Islands Dispute

In what must be one of the more intriguing diplomatic agreements in recent years – Oman, UAE and Iran seem to have made various agreements regarding territory . The Christmas Eve visit by Sheikh Mohammed Al Nahyen into Oman may have been the critical discussion period between Oman and the UAE.

Sultan Qaboos (L) and Hassan Rouhani in Tehran August 2013
Sultan Qaboos (L) and Hassan Rouhani in Tehran August 2013

The islands in The Gulf (the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa which were occupied by Iran under the Shah when Britain pulled out ‘East of Suez’) will have their above sea land occupied by the UAE and the sea bed by Iran. Possibly as a means of getting agreement on that Oman has granted Iran a base in Musandam, Omans northern peninsula. Iran will supply Oil and Gas to Oman via a soon to be constructed pipeline.

Oman needs the energy for many reasons, Iran presumably wishes an oversight across the Straights of Hormuz and it has found a friendly provider. The UAE is going to be happy at its increase in real-estate quite apart from the diplomatic agreement.

Sultan Qaboos (L) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in August 2013
Sultan Qaboos (L) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in August 2013

Oman centuries ago occupied various ports in Iran, including what is now Bandar Abbass. Sultan Qaboos made a visit into Iran in 2013 and it seems the two countries are maintaining the pace of diplomatic entente.

The USA apparently is accepting this new Gulf order, but one wonders what Oman’s neighbour, Saudi Arabia will make of all this.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140115/DEFREG04/301150034/Source-UAE-Iran-Reach-Accord-Disputed-Hormuz-Islands

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman – edition 4