Secret US-Iran talks cleared way for historic nuclear deal - Telegraph
US and Iranian officials have been meeting secretly in Oman for the past year with the help of Sultan Qaboos, it has emerged. ...[snipped]
The United States began a tentative outreach shortly after Mr Obamaís inauguration in January 2009. Mr Obama and Iranís supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exchanged letters, but the engagement yielded no results.
In the end, it was efforts to win the release of three American hikers who had strayed across the Iranian border which led to the clandestine diplomacy.
Omanís Sultan Qaboos was a key player, facilitating the release of the hikers in late 2010 and 2011 and then offering himself as a mediator for a US-Iran rapprochement. The secret informal discussions between mid-level officials in Washington and Tehran began.
"To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill.
To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.
And, subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo." Zeami Motokiyo