Caving In to Iranian Pressure, Oman to Keep Israeli Flights Out of Its Airspace

oman embassy
Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Reuters/File)

Oman has refused to open its airspace to Israeli flights due to pressure from Iran, Yisrael Hayom reported on Thursday.

Securing such passage would have allowed Israel to slash flight times to Far East countries, such as India, Thailand and China, together with Saudi Arabia’s announcement last month to open its airspace to all airlines, including Israeli flights.

Officials expected the approval from Oman to be a mere formality. Just last week, CEO of El Al Dina Ben-Tal said permission to fly over Oman was expected in “a matter of days.” The airline, along with other Israeli ones, had already received approval to fly over Saudi Arabia.

According to Dr. Yoel Gozhanskya, senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, “Iran has greatly increased its pressure and threats on Gulf states not to take any normalization measures vis-à-vis Israel.”

Since President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia in July, Gulf states have expressed willingness to renew ties with Iran despite the threat it poses to them. Only recently, Kuwait named its first ambassador to Tehran in over six years, and there were reports of a breakthrough in Iranian-Saudi ties.

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