May 24, 2019 / 6:53 AM / a month ago

Oman trying to reduce U.S.-Iran tensions: foreign ministry tweet

Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah attends a meeting for Gulf states Foreign Ministers in Riyadh, December 7, 2015. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI (Reuters) - Oman is trying “with other parties” to reduce tensions between the United States and Iran, the Omani Foreign Ministry tweeted on Friday.

The tweet cited Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate’s minister responsible for foreign affairs, who met on Monday in Tehran with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“There is a danger that a war breaks out, hurting the whole world ... Both parties, the American and the Iranian, are aware of the danger,” the tweet cited the Omani minister as saying in an interview with an Arabic publication.

Oman maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran and has previously been an important go-between for the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations in 1980. Washington and Tehran are in a protracted stand-off over Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Tensions have been building in the last few weeks. Washington has sent more military forces to the Middle East in a show of force against what U.S. officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region since the United States reinstated a range of economic sanctions against Iran.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that Iran will not surrender to U.S. pressure and will not abandon its goals, even if it is bombed.

Another country trying to avert a confrontation in the region is Iraq. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that Baghdad would send delegations to Washington and Tehran to help reduce tensions.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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