May 20, 2019 / 1:16 PM / 2 months ago

Oman's top diplomat visits Tehran, talks on regional issues

LONDON (Reuters) - The foreign minister of Oman, which in the past helped pave the way for negotiations between Iran and the United States, visited Tehran on Monday as tensions rise between the Islamic Republic and the United States and its Gulf allies.

Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah discussed regional and international issues with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian state news agency IRNA said. However, IRNA gave no details and it was not known if the visit was aimed at calming Iran-U.S. tensions.

A Gulf Arab state that - unusually - maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran, Oman has previously been an important go-between for the two countries that severed diplomatic relations in 1980. Washington and Tehran are in a protracted stand-off over Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Frances Kerry

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