Iranian, Omani Warships, Aircraft Deployed for Joint Drills in Strait of Hormuz - Photos
12:34 GMT 17.12.2021 (Updated: 12:44 GMT 17.12.2021)
Tehran and Muscat enjoy warm bilateral ties, notwithstanding Oman’s membership in the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council, and its friendly relations with the United States, two of the Islamic Republic’s sworn adversaries.
Iran and Oman have completed joint naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, with the exercises taking place Thursday and including units from Iran’s Navy, Revolutionary Guards Naval Force and Coast Guard, and the Omani Royal Navy and Air Force, Tasnim reports.
The drills, the ninth of their kind under terms of a military friendship agreement between the two countries, involved multiple warships and Coast Guard vessels, helicopters, and Iranian drones. The exercises featured mock search and rescue and relief operations in Iranian territorial waters and along the Strait of Hormuz.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani praised Tehran’s stable ties with its Gulf state neighbour, saying all attempts by Tehran’s enemies to harm friendly ties with Muscat have failed.
Thursday’s exercises took place on the second-to-last day of the five-day meeting of the Omani-Iranian Military Friendship Committee, which kicked off in Iran on Sunday and wrapped up Friday. Negotiators discussed the state of military ties and cooperation between the two countries.
Oman is one of three Gulf States (the others being Qatar and Kuwait) with which the Islamic Republic of Iran maintains relatively warm ties. The two gatekeepers to the strategic Strait of Hormuz enjoy a businesslike relationship notwithstanding Muscat’s partnership with the United States, and its officials’ informal negotiations with Israel – Iran’s sworn adversary.
15 December 2021, 15:49 GMT
Muscat has taken advantage of its friendly relations with both Iran and the US to the benefit of regional and global security, with the Obama administration using Oman as an important back channel to negotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, with then-Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later praising Muscat for its “critical role in getting [the nuclear] talks off the ground.”