- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has taken his first step into Arab territory since taking office and headed to Oman for a friendly attempt at bolstering ties.

Iran state TV reported that Mr. Rouhani has promised that Tehran will improve relations and its image with Mideast neighbors. He touched down in Muscat on Wednesday, along with several of his highest-ranking economic officials, The Associated Press reported.

Iran and Oman are geographic opposites on the Strait of Hormuz, the entryway to the Persian Gulf and the gate guard body of water for about one-fifth of the oil that’s shipped around the world.

Saudi Arabia and other nations with ties to the West are watching the Iran-Oman talks with caution. Oman has in the past served as a mediator between Iran and the West, and the worry is that Iran could push the country to clamp down communications.