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Omani FM rules out US-Iran showdown over nuclear program


Doha : Oman ruled out on Monday a military showdown between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program.

Omani Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah said that the Iranian nuclear file has become an international matter, adding that Gulf states are keen on the region’s security, stability and economic prosperity.

Speaking to daily Al-Sharq newspaper on the sidelines of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit which opens later today, the Omani minister affirmed the importance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s partcipation in the summit. “Interests of Gulf states and Iran are interwined and it’s necessary to maintain them according to clear, acceptable and equal basis.” On whether Gulf states would impose economic sanctions on Iran, bin Alawi said, “even those who adopt decisions on imposing economic sanctions bear great responsibility and they should also calculate (the outcome of their decisions).

“There are great interests and these matters control the type of sanctions to be agreed on … The Security Council is an international authority and member states must adhere according to the UN law to implementing Security Council resolutions, but each (member) implements them is a way, style and methods (of its own). Sanctions are not meants to undermine Iran’s interests and they’re rather messages for an awaited diplomatic solution,” he said.

Bin Alawi said dialogue between Iran and Gulf states has not ceased on many issues, noting the Ahmedinejad’s visit to Doha should be viewed as a positive development in Gulf-Iranian ties.

On the return of GCC ambassadors to Bagdad, he said the situation is linked to the security condition in Iraq and is not a political decision.

On the Annapolis talks, he said that the main objective is to help Palestinians establish their independent state which has become not only an Arab demand but also an international one.
“We went there (annapolis) with the conviction that negotiations will not be easy and the Palestinian president (Mahmoud Abbas) has mentioned that differences on details are great,” he said, adding, “but when we went their we heard good words that contain a great sense of seriousness on action and therefore and after the talks we have become optimistic.” On Gulf matters, he said that Oman will not join in the GCC’s quest for a monetary union, but clarified that it would not hamper efforts toward that goal.

“We should not follow in the footsteps of Europeans because they unified their currency for strategic goals and reasons and that the European currency has many negativities that only specialists know. Rich EU countries were able to bear their negativities for the sake of a wide-range strategic goal while such necessaties do not exist in GCC states,” he said.