The United States is apparently making extensive efforts to alleviate the situation in-order to avoid a military escalation. According to a state Department statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the leader of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to confer about the threat posed by the Islamic Republic. No additional details were available from their phone conversation. It is important to explain, however, that the Sultanate of Oman has served as a long intermediary between the West and the Islamic Republic. Among others, it served as the host state of secret discussions in 2013, when the United States – under the Obama administration – was negotiating the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.
Picking-up on Washington’s efforts to seek a diplomatic-channel for talks with Iran; Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready to assist both the United States and Europe in mediating a desired agreement. During a joint press conference with his Austrian Counterpart Alexander Van Der Bellen, President Putin stressed that Russia will seek to extinguish the flames, if the United States and Europe are be sincere about their intensions. According to the Russian President, “We will look at how the situation develops. Russia is not a fire brigade, we cannot save just anything, which does not fully depend on us. We have played our role, we are ready to play on this positive role. But it does not only depend on us. It depends on all the players, including the United States, European countries and Iran.”
President Putin also insisted that while the United States instigated the tense situation by withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear treaty, Iran will ultimately be subject to bearing responsibility if it abandon’s the multilateral agreement. “The Americans quit the (nuclear) treaty, the treaty is collapsing, European countries are unable to do anything to save it, cannot really work with Iran to compensate its economic losses. But as soon as Iran takes the first steps in response, will declare that it quits something, the very next day everyone will forget that it were the United States who initiated the destruction (of the treaty) and burden of guilt will be laid upon Iran,” Putin said.
Iran has officially stopped some commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers following an order from its national security council – less than a week after the Islamic Republic notified China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom of its decision, in response to Europe’s failed attempts to bypass U.S. sanctions that effectively crippled Tehran’s economy.