THE UNITED STATES NAVY GETS ACCESS TO THE PORTS OF OMAN IN THE MIDST OF IRAN’S TENSIONS: REPORTS

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Tensions between Washington and Tehran increased last May, when President Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from Iran’s nuclear agreement and vowed to slap the country with severe sanctions for its alleged “destabilizing” role in the Middle East.

The Arab nation of southeastern Oman has signed an agreement with Washington that allows American warships and aircraft to enjoy access to two of its ports in the Arabian Sea, state news agency Oman reported.

The agreement, signed in Muscat on Sunday, provided United States Navy ships, including transport groups, access to the ports of Duqm and Salalah, with the former located only 500 km from the Strait of Gibraltar’s waterway. Ormuz, through which more than 30 percent of the Crude oil transported by sea passes en route to customers around the world.

The US embassy in Oman praised the agreement and said it “reaffirms the commitment of both countries to the promotion of mutual security objectives,” and an unnamed US official added that the port of Duqm in particular was “very attractive”, given its “geostrategic location” as well as its capacity to house massive groups of US carriers.

The official mentioned the United States’ concerns about Iran, and told Reuters that while the United States “used to operate under the assumption that we could simply enter the Gulf, the quality and quantity of Iranian weapons is cause for concern.” According to the official, the Oman agreement significantly extended the “military options” of the United States in case of a crisis.

In addition to the effort to box in Iran, Rueters says the agreement will help Washington in its global competition for influence with Beijing, while China hopes to invest billions of dollars in the ports of Oman for commercial development.

The United States already has a large number of important military bases throughout the Persian Gulf, including Qatar, which houses the largest military installation in the United States in the Middle East.

THE UNITED STATES NAVY GETS ACCESS TO THE PORTS OF OMAN IN THE MIDST OF IRAN'S TENSIONS: REPORTS

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the United States or its allies tried to keep their promises to ban the export of Iranian oil.

The Trump administration slapped Iranian oil exports with oil-related sanctions in November as part of a broader package of restrictions announced last May following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. However, EE. UU It has also granted “temporary exemptions” to Iranian exports to major customers, including China, India, Italy and Turkey, and these exemptions will expire in May.

 

Source: ES News-Front