Oman says Iran poses no threat to Persian Gulf security

July 30, 2007 - 0:0

CAIRO (AFP) - Oman said on Sunday that Iran did not pose a threat to the Persian Gulf region, as the United States prepares to announce an arms package for Persian Gulf states aimed at addressing Tehran's growing military might.

""We do not see that Iran poses a threat to the Gulf region,"" Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Omani minister responsible for foreign affairs, told reporters after meeting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. ""Iran is a neighboring state and we have a common interest which is to maintain stability and security in the region,"" he said. Persian Gulf Cooperation Council member Oman will join the five other PGCC states -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- along with Egypt, Jordan and the U.S. for talks on Iraq and regional security at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday. Oman and Iran are co-guardians of the strategic Strait of Hormuz entrance to the oil-rich Persian Gulf, and the two have consistently maintained good relations. Next week Washington is expected to announce a series of arms deals worth at least 20 billion dollars with Saudi Arabia and the five other Gulf states, U.S. media reported. ""We've been working very hard on the Saudi arms package, which we believe is critical to the overarching architecture that we believe we are going to need... to deal with the changing strategic threat from Iran and other forces,"" a senior U.S. defense official told reporters on Friday