Certain US media suddenly this week claimed to have broken the news of a secret track used by President Barack Obama for secret negotiations with Tehran through Oman’s Sultan Qaboos. debkafile and DEBKA Weekly were in fact way ahead of the field. We uncovered the Qaboos track on Aug. 26, 2013 and were on the trail of back-channel communications between Washington and Tehran on Jan.26, more than a year earlier, when he exposed the first secret rendezvous between US and Iranian emissaries in Baghdad. For a while, they continued intermittently at venues in Ankara and Vienna (next door to the nuclear watchdog’s headquarters).
The flamboyant campaign Washington launched to present President Hassan Rouhani’s election last July as a big opportunity for diplomacy was mean to legitimize the understandings reached in those secret tracks, which had matured sufficiently to evolve a into formal conference. Then, on Sept. 19, we revealed that Oman’s Defense Minister Sayyid Badr bin Saud Al Busaidiat was now the main conduit for the last round of confidential messages between Washington and Tehran in preparation for the Six-Power nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva last week, in advance of which most of the interim accord approved there had been secretly put in place.
We offer some of the dates of our disclosures:
Jan. 26, 2012, DEBKA Weekly #526:
Obama is running three secret backdoor channels to Tehran are going through Baghdad, Ankara and Vienna.
Feb. 18, 2012, debkafile:
debkafile’s political sources report… Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s strong sense of betrayal from what he sees as surreptitious US diplomacy with Iran for promoting talks that will end the promised sanctions for halting Iran’s momentum for building a nuclear weapon now in its final stages. The existence of those back-channel exchanges was first disclosed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly last week.
April 16, 2012, debkafile:
Israel: Obama’s secret dealings with Iran conflict with US-Israeli understandings
The fundamental rift on Iran between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu burst into the open Monday, April 16 when high-ranking Israeli officials close to Netanyahu directly accused the president of reneging on the US-Israeli understandings reached ahead of the Istanbul talks between the six powers and Iran on April 14.
Behind the show biz of Istanbul, they charged, the US and Iran had reached secret agreements in clandestine bilateral contacts channeled through Paris and Vienna.
May 18, 2012, DEBKA #541:
Ali Khamenei is so far standing firmly against the war camp, maintaining his confidence that progress in his nuclear dialogue with Barack Obama would cause Israel irreparable strategic damage and deepen the animosity between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government. US-Israel friendship would go into deep decline.
Aug. 26, 2013, debkafile:
debkafile’s intelligence sources report that the US president delegated two emissaries to Tehran on two separate tracks. One was Sultan Qaboos of Oman, who arrived in Tehran Monday for a visit with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Sept. 19, 2013, debkafile:
debkafile’s Washington and Iranian sources disclose that Obama and Khamenei have been exchanging secret messages through Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman, who visited Tehran in the last week of August and conferred with both Khameini and Rouhani.
In the last message, carried to Tehran by Oman’s Defense Minister Sayyid Badr bin Saud Al Busaidiat, the US president said that Rouhani’s conciliatory gestures towards Washington needed to be backed up by an explicit pledge not to weaponise Iran’s nuclear program.
Sept. 20, DEBKA Weekly 603:
Three exclusive articles offer precise details of the give-and-take in the secret exchanges between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. They led DEBKA Weekly’s analysts to conclude that the “US president has come to terms with a nuclear-capable Iran and will be satisfied with Ayatollah Khamenei’s word that Tehran will not take the last step to actually assemble a bomb.”