Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and top negotiator, met with his Omani counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Harthy, during his visit to the Omani capital Muscat. His trip followed a phone call between the Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, and the Omani Sultan, Haitham bin Tarik, a few days ago.
A source, on the condition of anonymity, told Iran Nuances that Bagheri’s visit to Muscat was linked to the recent phone call between the Iranian president and the Sultan of Oman. The Iranian Presidential office’s readout stated that this phone call, on Tuesday, August 1, covered enhancing bilateral ties and collaborating on regional and international matters. Among the international matters where Oman is currently involved with Iran, the most prominent one is the negotiations between Iran and the United States on the prisoner swap and the release of Iran’s frozen funds.
The Omani foreign minister, Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi, had also visited Tehran a few weeks earlier. Oman mediates the negotiations between Iran and the US on the prisoner exchange issue. However, these talks have not reached a conclusion due to differences over the number of prisoners to be swapped.
Nasser Kanaani, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, acknowledged the mediation efforts of certain countries to facilitate the prisoner swap between Iran and the US two weeks ago.
At the same time, Qatar, which mainly handles the release of Iran’s assets, including those frozen in South Korea, sent its Minister of State with two written messages to Tehran. Muscat and Doha have also engaged in talks with Washington alongside their dialogue with Tehran.
The US State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, and Iraq’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, have confirmed the transfer of part of Iran’s money in Iraq to Oman. Ehsan Khandouzi, Iran’s Minister of Economy, also announced “very good and constructive” talks on the release of Iran’s frozen assets, on Thursday, August 2.