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U.S. and Iranian officials hold indirect talks in Oman over risks of wider war

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Senior U.S. and Iranian officials held talks in Oman last week through an intermediary, according to a person familiar with the matter, the first such talks since Iran launched a retaliatory attack on Israel with hundreds of missiles and drones last month.

The talks in Oman were attended by senior White House Middle East policy official Brett McGurk and deputy special envoy for Iran Abram Paley. The goal is to try to get Iran, which supplies weapons and training to militias across the Middle East, to take action to control its partners. Since the war between Israel and Hamas began, some Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq and Syria have stepped up attacks on U.S. troops, raising concerns about a wider war.

The most powerful regional militia, Lebanon-based Hezbollah, has been fighting Israeli forces in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. However, U.S. intelligence officials assess that neither Hezbollah nor Iran want to become involved in a wider war.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since 1979, and discussions between the two sides often occur through intermediaries and secret channels. The format of the talks in Oman was similar to those in January: Americans sat in one room, their Iranian counterparts in another, and Omani officials shuttled between rooms.The new round of talks begins with report Provided by Axios.

Iran A revenge attack was carried out last month Israel used more than 300 missiles and drones after launching an attack on the Iranian diplomatic residence in Damascus, killing General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of Iran’s Quds Force. Iran equated this with an attack on Iranian territory and responded with its first direct attack on Israeli territory.

U.S. and Israeli forces, working with those of several European and Arab allies and partners, thwarted the attack.

Israel has been fighting Iranian forces and partner militias in Syria for years, and the Syrian government is allied with Iran. This “shadow war” has now become an open conflict.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement press conference This week, “the threat Iran and its proxies pose to Israel, regional stability, and U.S. interests was clear.”

“We are working with Israel and other partners to guard against these threats and prevent escalation into a full-scale regional war through a calibrated combination of diplomacy, deterrence, force posture and the use of force when necessary to protect our people and safeguard national security “Our interests and our allies,” he added.

Sullivan is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend to discuss issues involving Israel’s war with Hamas. A Potentially broad diplomatic and security agreement Involving the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel; and threats from Iran.

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