TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson quashed rumors that Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah’s visit to Iran has something to do with the US defense secretary’s recent trip to Oman.

In comments on Saturday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi denied rumors about a link between the top Omani diplomat’s trip to Iran and a recent visit to the sultanate by US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

“Oman is an independent state that has very good relations with many world countries,” the spokesman added, stressing that bin Alawi’s trip to Iran has nothing to do with Mattis’s visit to Oman or with the developments surrounding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The top Omani diplomat is visiting Iran “according to a previous plan and in line with the enhancement and deepening of bilateral ties,” Qassemi added.

Hailing Oman’s contribution to regional peace and stability, the Iranian spokesperson said bin Alawi’s visit revolves around issues related to economic cooperation between the two countries.

In addition to meetings with Iran’s political and parliamentary officials, the Omani foreign minister is expected to meet the Central Bank of Iran’s chief as well as officials from state-run and private sector corporations, he added.

Iran and Oman share age-old and close diplomatic, economic, and parliamentary ties.

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said played an important role in facilitating the early stages of nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), which led to the landmark nuclear deal known as the JCPOA in July 2015.