Oman and Iran had sealed a $60 billion gas agreement that would allow Muscat to purchase natural gas from Tehran for 25 years. The two countries are to build gas pipelines in two years. The subsea gas pipeline will guarantee Oman 20 million cubic meters of gas from Iran.
Oman first agreed to purchase natural gas from Iran in 2005, but due to western sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear activity, Oman was forced to purchase gas from other countries such as Qatar and Pakistan at the US’ prescription.
Omani Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanageh had signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year. Oman has closer ties with Iran than any other Arabian country who perceive Iran’s nuclear activities as a national security threat.
Pakistan’s failure to deliver oil and the increasing prices of oil from Qatar had urged Oman to take advantage of the lifted sanctions the UN had granted to Iran after it agreed to scale down its nuclear activities last year. Oman’s increasing energy needs has led it to close a deal with Iran
Meanwhile, Pakistan also eyes Iran to provide for its natural gas needs and Pakistani and Iranian officials are expected to meet next month to discuss proposals for a natural gas deal between the two countries.
As Syrian regime troops continue to push on against rebel positions in Aleppo in Syria and Egypts’ political climate is still at its worse, the US and Iran become key figures in helping to avert the crises in the middle east. However, in conflict with each other, political analysts advise that the only way through the middle east conflicts is support from both sides.
Iran recently refused its role the US suggested on the Syrian peace talks or Geneva 2, which is to happen on January 22. Aside from Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition rebels will be in attendance in the Geneva 2 talks. Despite the slated date, exchanges between Syrian regime and rebels continue.
Syria is also in danger of al-Qaeda militant invasion, which is using Iraq as a “safe passageway” towards fierce fighting in Syria.
However, Washington and the Syrian opposition is arguing that Tehran had supported Assad with manpower and arms as the uprising continued in the country. UN Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi had also backed Tehran’s involvement.
Despite the US-Iran sanction and nuclear enrichment reduction, there is minimal improvement on the outlook of the US against Iran regarding the Syrian civil war.
Iran had given no indication to take any of the US’ suggestion regarding its role in Syria.