A Test for Oman and Its Sultan

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A Test for Oman and Its Sultan - The New Yorker

December 8, 2014
By Elizabeth Dickinson

Three and a half years before Oman hosted secret talks between the United States and Iran, Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi laid down the country's only condition: "Oman can arrange any meeting you want and provide the venue—if it is totally discreet," Alawi told Richard J. Schmierer, the U.S. Ambassador to Oman, in a discussion about Iran in November, 2009, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

The discussions were held in March, 2013, at private villas on the Muscat coast owned by the ruler of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id, and they set the stage for official negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program, which began in February of this year. When it became clear that the latest round of talks, in Vienna, would not lead to an agreement by the November 24th deadline, Washington once again turned to Oman, with Alawi shuttling between American and Iranian officials to extend the deadline to March, 2015.......
 

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