U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia after he deplaned from his Boeing 747 following his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland, on September 3, 2015, to visit President Barack Obama. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
Contrary to its usual role as conciliator and neutral arbitrator, Oman has indicated its willingness to be a part of 40-country alliance to oppose Iran and its state sponsorship of terrorism. Until now the Sultanate has been concerned that a wider regional confrontation with Iran would lead to internal de-stabilization within its own borders.
“Oman has always in the past taken positions and policies that are contrary to the Gulf positions regarding the region. This now shows the return of Oman to the Gulf consensus against Iran and its political positions,” one source said.
Siding with Saudi Arabia against Iran is a huge shift for Oman since “it is known that Oman has been close to Iran, the traditional enemy of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries.”
Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed will most likely visit Muscat soon to prepare the groundwork for a visit to Oman by King Salman, the source added.
One reason given for the change in policy is that Oman realized that there was a definite “lack of seriousness and of benefits” of cooperation with the Iranians.
The 40-country alliance was announced last December by the Saudis, a move that was met with approval by the United States. Washington has been urging the region to unify in a campaign to fight ISIL militants who have control of land in Iraq and Syria.
ISIL had threatened the monarchies of the Gulf states, promising to overthrow the kingdoms, and has launched several attacks on Shi’ite Muslim mosques and military personnel in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Insurgents in Libya are warning the supporters of Muammar Gaddafi to separate themselves from the Colonel or else be prepared to be part of a great blood bath that is coming to Gaddafi and those that choose to stick by him.
Gaddafi’s enemies are saying that his 42-year-long reign is coming to an abrupt end in the next few days, but as Gaddafi himself stated in his speech on Friday, his last act as leader of Libya will be to order a massive attack on civilians in his country. If that happens, his enemies say, a bloody fight will ensue.
Leaders of the revolt deeply fear that those in support of the regime will be massacred by angry mobs unless they decide to give up now. They are terrified that the new, free Libya will be born out of terrible bloodshed.
Among those leaders is Mustafa Mohamed Abud al Jeleil. He is 59 and was one of the first of Colonel Gaddafi’s supporters to turn against him in the recent unrest. Dr Juma Abdul a former assistant to al Jeleil said, "This appeal is the last chance for them to leave Gaddafi, so the Libyan people will forgive them. We are trying to stop the bloodshed in Tripoli.”
Those in opposition to Gaddafi are also calling for the leader’s own security forces to back down and turn against their leader so that bloody violence can be averted. Others are hoping that Gaddafi will be persuaded to leave the country and love in exile with the possibility of Zimbabwe being floated.
On Nov. 2nd Americans go to vote for their Congressional representatives and by most counts and with the show of force at yesterday’s FreedomWorks rally and conservative talk show host Glenn Beck’s rally from two weeks ago, the Republicans are seemingly going to take back the Congress or come very close. At first glance this seems to be plain negative for Oman and the greater Middle East. The Obama administration, bolstered by a majority in both Houses of Congress has been pushing for greater partnership with the Islamic world and the Arab world in particular. Yet, this is only on the surface and money and defense contracts don’t make up for a do nothing attitude on the rising threat of Iran, which if allowed to get atomic weapons could undo all the economic advancements Oman has seen in recent years.
While I and many others in the Persian Gulf don;t like the Republican and neo-con affinity with the Zionist State of Israel, their sweeping victory in November might just get the Obama administration to do something about Iran, which is now a bigger problem than the “Zionists”.