A high-ranking Omani official visited Iran today for the annual meeting of the Omani-Iranian Military Friendship Committee. The two countries will also soon conduct a training exercise together.

Brig. Gen. Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Manthari met with the commander of Iran’s navy, Rear Adm. Shahram Irani. Manthari, who is assistant to the Omani military’s chief of staff for operations and planning, led a delegation to promote military cooperation with Iran. He also met the chief of staff of the Iranian military, Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The Omani delegation will remain in Iran for five days. At the end of the visit, the Omani and Iranian navies will conduct a joint naval drill together, according to the official Oman News Agency.

The Sultanate of Oman, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, charts an independent foreign policy and has good relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman went to Oman earlier this month as part of his tour of the Gulf. Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said also visited Saudi Arabia today for the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting.

Oman has recently invested in its ports with the goal of becoming a gateway to Gulf economic markets. There have been several security incidents in the Gulf of Oman in recent years. In November, the US military accused Iran of flying a helicopter at a “dangerous” proximity to American forces in the waterway.

Source » al-monitor