EghtesadOnline: Iran’s top lawmaker called on Omani and Qatari officials to prepare the ground for the operations of Iranian businesspeople interested in working in the Persian Gulf Arab countries.
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met top lawmakers from the two neighboring states on Saturday on the sidelines of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly's 12th plenary meeting in Turkey.
In his meeting with Deputy Chairman of Oman's Consultative Assembly Abdullah Al Amri, he highlighted longstanding relations between Tehran and Muscat, which have not been negatively affected by recent developments in the region, Financial Tribune reported.
"Oman has always acted as a peacemaker," he was quoted as saying by ICANA.
He pointed to recent meetings between Iranian and Omani business leaders, hoping their moves will produce positive results.
Larijani noted that Iranians are keen to enter the country’s business market, but face difficulties that can be addressed by Omani authorities.
"It is a good idea that central banks of both countries reach agreements to manage the problems of businesspeople," he said.
He also called for addressing the technical and economic problems facing a planned Iran-Oman gas pipeline project, stressing that the strategic project will serve the interests of both countries.
Amri said Muscat is determined to take effective steps toward expanding economic ties with Iran and pave the way for the presence of Iranian businesspeople in Omani free trade zones.
Referring to the gas pipeline project, he said the only hurdles are technical and financial issues that can be removed by relevant ministers.
In addition, Larijani said Oman's approach toward the Yemeni crisis was "wise", hoping that negotiations would lead to a ceasefire.
"Accepting a ceasefire in Yemen is a rational decision," he said.
Yemen has been the scene of a battle between Iran-aligned Houthi fighters and the ousted government of president Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi backed by a Saudi-led coalition.
Oman has refused to take part in the coalition and presented a seven-point plan for peace in the war-torn country.
Amri said Oman is informed of progress in the Yemeni peace process and is working toward finding a solution to end the war.
"The condition of Yemen is improving. Most peaceful efforts have been made to address the crisis," he said.
In a meeting with his Qatari counterpart, Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud, the Iranian speaker described Doha's role in the region as positive.
"We will always hold close consultations about key regional issues. We are also interested in expanding economic ties with you," he told al-Mahmud.
He asked officials in Doha to clear the way for Iranian businesses to operate in Qatar, saying Iran welcomes any proposal to deepen bilateral ties.
Mahmud thanked Iran for standing by Qatar while the country came under "cruel sanctions" by a Saudi-led coalition in 2017.
"I remember Iran's president [Hassan Rouhani] said at the start of Qatar's diplomatic crisis that the Islamic Republic does not accept the sanctions," he said, adding that Doha will not cut its ties with Iran under pressure.
A coalition consisting of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and a number of other regional governments severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, citing its alleged support for terrorism.