Report: Senior US officials held indirect talks with Iran in Oman this week to avoid Mideast escalation

Two senior American officials held indirect meeting with Iranian officials in Oman this week in an effort to avoid a regional escalation, according to the Axios news site.

The talks focused on “clarifying the consequences of actions by Iran and its proxies in the region and to discuss US concerns regarding the status of Iran’s nuclear program,” according to two sources quoted in the report.

A government official confirms to the Times of Israel that White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk and special envoy on Iran Abram Paley were in Oman this week for the talks.

McGurk was also in Saudi Arabia this week, according to the same official.

Axios says it was unclear who represented Iran at the Oman talks and there was no official statement from either country.

The talks come after Iranian threats in recent weeks that Tehran will change its doctrine on nuclear weapons — currently banned under a fatwa by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — if its existence is threatened by Israel.

Similar talks were held between the United States and Iran in Oman January, when reportedly Tehran asked the Biden administration to secure a ceasefire in ongoing Gaza war while Washington pressed the Islamic Republic to curb attacks by its proxies.

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