Details of secret US-Iran meeting revealed by senior US official

Iran hinted it could rein in Houthi attacks if the U.S. worked towards an Israel-Hamas ceasefire.

By World Israel News Staff

Iranian officials pressed the Biden administration for a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terror group during secret, indirect talks in Oman, while the U.S. asked Tehran to rein in Houthi attacks on global shipping.

Senior representatives of the American and Iranian government traveled to Oman to discuss solutions for the ongoing regional crisis in the Middle East, though they did not meet directly and communicated via Omani interlocutors, according to a New York Times report.

Those involved in the discussions included the Biden administration’s Middle East czar Brett McGurk and special envoy to Iran Abram Paley, and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani.

A senior American official told the Times that the U.S. “had engaged in the talks to show that even as tensions spiked, Washington was still open to pursuing diplomacy with Iran — but that if the dialogue did not produce results, the United States would use force.”

The top item on the Iranian agenda was bringing about an end to the Swords of Iron war, the report indicated, whereas the Americans prioritized an end to the Houthi missile and drone strikes that have snarled shipping routes and created major issues for global supply chains.

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“The goal of the recent negotiations in Oman was for both sides to return to that unofficial agreement and keep tensions at a low level,” Sasan Karimi, a prominent Tehran-based political analyst, told the Times.

“We shouldn’t expect any breakthroughs between Iran and the U.S.; it’s all narrowly focused on the region for now. They want Iran to use its convincing power with the militia, and Iran is saying, Not so fast, not until you give us a ceasefire.”

Notably, the Houthis have pledged to continue their attacks against merchant ships traveling in the waters near their territory in southern Yemen until a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas is established.