DUBAI Feb 14 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
will visit Oman and Kuwait on Wednesday, state media reported,
in his first visit to the Gulf Arab states since taking power in
Rouhani will leave Tehran for Muscat on Wednesday to meet
Oman's Sultan Qaboos, Rouhani's deputy chief of staff for
communications, Parviz Esmaeili, was quoted as saying on Monday
by state-run Press TV.
He will depart on the same day to Kuwait on invitation of
Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
Kuwait's foreign minister paid a rare visit to Tehran late
in January to deliver a message to Rouhani on a "basis of
dialogue" between Gulf Arab states and arch-rival Iran.
The six Arab members of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),
especially Saudi Arabia, accuse Tehran of using sectarianism to
interfere in Arab countries and build its own sphere of
influence in the Middle East. Iran denies the accusations.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in January 2016 cut diplomatic
relations with Iran and some other Gulf states recalled their
ambassadors in solidarity with the oil-rich kingdom after its
embassy in Iran was torched by protesters.
Oman has traditionally resisted Gulf Arab states' efforts to
close ranks against Iran. It helped to mediate secret U.S.-Iran
talks in 2013 that led to the historic nuclear deal signed in
Geneva two years later.
Rouhani said in January that at least 10 countries including
Kuwait have offered to mediate in the escalating feud between
Saudi Arabia and Iran.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Michael Perry)