(Persia Digest) - An expert on international affairs in Tehran believes: “The IR of Iran has criticized Netanyahu’s trip to Oman. But, apart from Oman, Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan also have normal ties with Israel. It cannot be said that such visits will affect Tehran's relations with Muscat.”

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has unexpectedly visited Oman. The Muslim world is still engaged in the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and Trump’s deal of the century to end the Palestinian issue. Considering the friendly ties between Iran and Oman, can the meeting between Sultan Qaboos and Netanyahu have a negative impact on Tehran-Muscat relations?

In an interview with Persia Digest (PD), Dr Mehdi Zakerian, Professor of International Relations at Tehran University said: “Decision-making on foreign relations is the responsibility of the authorities of each country. But this is different in the case of relations between Oman and Israel; because Israel has violated the advice of the International Court of Justice and Security Council resolutions on the construction of a wall, the internationality of Jerusalem, and the occupation of this region. It has recently escalated construction and settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Therefore, the establishment of this relationship is not only criticized by the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also by the international community.”

He continued: “The UN, EU, Organization of Islamic Countries, and the Non-Aligned Movement have condemned Israel’s behavior, in particular its leader Netanyahu who is an extremist. As such, this meeting is also condemned and the Oman government must be answerable. If these meetings are aimed at encouraging Tel Aviv, Oman’s government must be held responsible to the same extent as Israel’s government by the international community.”

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He went on to say: “The deal of the century, Madrid Conference, and the Oslo Accords are nothing but dreams to solve the Israeli crisis. It is not linked to efforts being made to resolve regional issues. Moreover, Israel has not even complied with the provisions of these conferences. Therefore, unless the Palestinian issue is genuinely resolved, an independent Palestinian state is officially recognized, Israel and the West Bank are vacated, and refugees returned to their homeland, the issues will continue to remain in place. Cutting funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by the US has intensified unrests. As such the deal of the century must be renamed the loss of the century.”

Zakerian reiterated: “Oman and Israel had consular relations even before this meeting. The Arab world and the Middle East are clearly using Israel as an enemy to suppress their internal opponents. The survival of Israel is not at the expense of the authoritarian rulers of the region. None of these are free, democratic nations. So if Israel stays, they can continue to rule. The ideals of these countries are not the rights of the Palestinian people. It is a pretext to take advantage of, both internally and internationally.”

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He commented on the impact of Netanyahu's trip to Oman on the future of good relations between Tehran-Muscat, saying: “Iran sets its relations on the basis of national interests. The priority is to communicate with neighboring countries, Muslim countries, and then countries that have a friendly relationship with Iran, and ultimately other countries. Accordingly, Oman as a neighboring Muslim country is at the top of the list of foreign relations. But this same priority is also defined in the context of national interests; as long as Oman meets Iran's national interests, Tehran's relations with Muscat will continue. Apart from Oman, Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan also have normal ties with Israel. It cannot be said that such visits will cut or affect Tehran's relations with Muscat.”

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