11:59 GMT13 July 2020
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    Oman offered assistance as a mediator between Washington and Tehran, but the Iranian Deputy FM says Iran will hold no “direct or indirect” negotiations with the US.

    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi said Sunday Tehran is ready to hold talks with all Persian Gulf states.

    "Just visited Oman- will go to Kuwait & Qatar next," the Deputy FM wrote on Twitter. "No direct/indirect talks with the US, but ready to negotiate with each and every country in the Persian Gulf for balanced & constructive relations based on mutual respect & interests."

    ​Araghchi is currently on a diplomatic tour with stops in Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. According to the IRNA report, he will discuss international developments, especially in and around the Persian Gulf recently.

    Omani Foreign Ministry Yusuf bin Alawi said in his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week that Muscat is ready to act as a mediator between Tehran and Washington in order to defuse mounting tensions.

    Oman's readiness to mediate between the two states has also been expressed by Omani ambassador to Washington Hunaina Al-Mughairy, IRNA report says. She said Oman would like to help to find a way out of the crisis if both sides would find such assistance helpful, adding that Oman does not seek to interfere in the foreign policy of other nations.

    On May 15, Iran gave the EU a 60-day ultimatum to provide effective means to shield Tehran from re-imposed US sanctions, saying it will increase its nuclear industry output and abandon some of it self-imposed obligations in relation to the JCPOA. Under the deal, Tehran is obliged, in particular,  to liquidate its uranium stockpile in exchange for the removal of US, UN and EU nuclear-related sanctions.

    Washington abandoned the deal unilaterally last year. Recently, the Pentagon began amassing military forces in the vicinity of Iran under the pretext of countering an unspecified military threat from Iran.


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