Muscat: Oman’s peace-loving nature and the wisdom of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said are manifested in the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranian ambassador to the Sultanate has said.
Oman, under the leadership of His Majesty the Sultan, has always played a constructive and peace-making role in the region, said Ali Akbar Sibeveih, following the announcement of the ‘implementation day’ of the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and global powers.
Read also / Lifting of Iran curbs to boost security: Alawi
“Oman’s stance manifested itself in Iran’s nuclear issue,” the ambassador told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
He said the agreement was a great achievement for Iran as it managed to get the sanctions lifted and at the same time enabled the country to continue its peaceful nuclear activities, despite the efforts of certain countries such as Israel to thwart this deal.
However, the main credit should go to Oman, and His Majesty the Sultan in particular, as they brought Iran and the P5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) to the negotiating table and continued playing a constructive role throughout the process, Sibeveih noted.
‘Blessing’ for the region
According to the ambassador, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said is not only a ‘blessing’ for Oman but also for the whole region as he helped prevent many crises in this part of the world and has also been trying to bring peace to crisis-hit countries in this region.
Iran holds Oman in great respect and hopes that other regional countries would adopt the same approach as the Sultanate as it would contribute to the peaceful resolution of all the issues in this area, he said.
Sibeveih noted that Iran’s nuclear activities are meant for peaceful purposes such as progress in various areas such as medicine and industry.
He expressed hope that a new chapter would be opened in Iran’s ties with other countries, especially regional countries, in the post-sanctions era.
In addition, the ambassador said the implementation of the nuclear deal, particularly the lifting of the sanctions on Iran, would give a boost to cooperation between the two countries in various areas, such as economy and tourism.
Oman is Iran’s priority in trade as it stood by Iran during the time of hardship as a ‘loyal’ and ‘brotherly’ country, Sibeveih said.
The issue of financial transactions will be resolved with the implementation of the deal and there will be many opportunities for investment and cooperation between the two countries.
In the recent past, many Omani companies have entered Iran’s market and, along with their foreign and Iranian partners, have been involved in or have expressed interest in various projects in roads, bridges and highway construction, airport expansion and mining as well as the petrochemical industry.
Sibeveih said he also believed that the deal will help enhance tourism cooperation between Iran and Oman, both of which have great tourism potential.
Oman Air has added a second daily flight to Tehran and there are plans to launch flights between Oman and the Iranian cities of Mashhad and Shiraz, he said.
The official added that the number of Iranians transiting to Southeast Asian countries via Oman has increased a lot in the recent past.
According to him, the flow of tourists from Iran to Oman increased by around 10 per cent in the previous year and the number of Iranian visas issued to Omanis showed an increase of around 37 per cent.
There are plans to increase cooperation between the Iranian and Omani tourism agencies to increase the number of visits and promote both countries’ tourism, Sibeveih said.
Iran is also keen to cooperate with Oman in restoring its historical sites such as forts, the ambassador stated.
In addition, Sibeveih commented on the Persian Language Centre in Muscat, saying that it has received a very good response from Omanis and other nationalities interested in learning Persian.
He noted that the centre provides a great platform for learning Persian, which will hopefully be used by more Omanis, especially businessmen, as the bilateral cultural and economic ties are expected to expand following the implementation of the nuclear deal.