Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oman Navigates Between Iran and Arab Nations

Oman’s other neighbors are wary of its relations with Iran.

The close ties between Iran and Oman, and the reasons behind them, help explain the West’s failure to cripple Iran with trade sanctions, as well as the inability of Iran’s Arab opponents to build a unified opposition to its growing regional influence.

Iran's total area is 1.648 million sq km (slightly larger than Alaska). Its coastline is 2,440 km, 740 on the Caspian Sea, 1,700 on the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Oman's total area is 212,460 sq km (slightly smaller than Kansas). Its coastline is 2,092 km.

Iranian smugglers operating last month at a port in Khasab, Oman, across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran. The smuggling is aided and taxed by officials in Oman.

Goods are moved on the shore at Khasab. The local government in Oman coordinates deliveries to the smugglers’ boats.

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