Oman and the Iran-Iraq War: including deployment of Nimrod aircraft to Oman

FCO 8/5506 1984 Jan 01 - 1984 Dec 31

This file concerns Oman and the Iran-Iraq War. It contains correspondence and memoranda relating to:

  • HMG’s agreement to deploy a Hawker Siddeley Nimrod aircraft to Oman and the reluctance of Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed to allow the Nimrod to carry out exercises in conjunction with US ships
  • The UK Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine’s suggestion that a mine counter-measures force deployed in the Mediterranean should be withdrawn in September
  • The Sultan’s wish for HMG to dissuade the UAE from accepting a Saudi offer to base fighter aircraft there against a threat of Iranian attack; a message from the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the Sultan
  • Iran’s desire to end the Iran-Iraq War by bringing about Saddam Hussein’s resignation
  • A conversation between Minister of State Richard Luce and the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir T M Creasey, during which they discussed the Sultan’s view that the US are trying to get Oman involved in the military activity in the upper Gulf; Oman’s objection to an attempt to extend the King Fahd Line through the Straits of Hormuz; and the question of whether Islamic fundamentalism is growing in Oman
  • The interception by the Imperial Iranian Navy of civilian ships near the Straits of Hormuz
  • US influence in Saudi Arabia
  • The Vice-President of the US George H W Bush’s visit to Oman, during which he assured the Sultan that the US intended to avoid any provocative action in the Gulf
  • The Sultan’s view that Oman should not be drawn into a closer military relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
  • The Sultan’s view that Saudi Arabia is using the Iran-Iraq War as a means of expanding its military influence over the GCC States
  • Anglo-American discussions on Gulf defence.