By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran made his first visit to an Arab country since assuming office. Yesterday, Rouhani visited Oman.
This short two day trip is much more important than it appears.
Rouhani flew into Muscat accompanied by a very significant Iranian economic delegation. Ostensibly, the purpose of the trip is to build better relations between the countries and to bolster trade and, quite frankly, all other interactions.
But the real purpose of this trip is to explore mutual interests.
Iran and Oman are separated by only one tiny strait. They share the most important straits in the world - the Straits of Hormuz. On one side is Iran and on the other is Oman. And every single day between 20% and 25% of the world's oil passes through those straits.
Iran and Oman need to be on decent terms in order to effectively achieve their own and their shared aims.
They both know that there is much that divides them. Rouhani is hoping to find those things that unite them and to make Oman happy enough to permit Iran to use
Hormuz in order to achieve its objectives.
We can only guess at what those objectives are.
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