Exclusive: U.S. glossed over Oman's human rights record during Iran talks
By Jason Szep, Matt Spetalnick and Yara Bayoumy WASHINGTON/MUSCAT (Reuters) - As the United States negotiated this year’s nuclear pact with Iran, the State Department quietly agreed to spare the Gulf sultanate of Oman from an embarrassing public rebuke over its human rights record, rewarding a close Arab ally that helped broker the historic deal. In a highly unusual intervention, the department’s hierarchy overruled its own staff’s assessments of Oman’s deteriorating record on forced labor and human trafficking and inflated its ranking in a congressionally mandated report, U.S. officials told Reuters. Oman, they agreed, had not done enough to improve the plight of migrant laborers and domestic workers who make up a large part of its expatriate community. In June, when the final report is usually published, the advisers to Kerry took an unusual step.
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