Oman, traditionally on friendly terms with Iran, confirmed on Thursday that it had joined a Saudi-led coalition of Muslim countries fighting terrorism, a move praised by other Gulf Arab states as closing ranks with them against Iran.

Saudi and Gulf sources reported the development on Wednesday, saying Omani Minister for Defence Affairs Badr bin Saud al-Busaidi had informed Saudi Arabia in a letter that it would join the 40-strong grouping.

On Thursday, the Omani Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the move “comes within the common understanding of the Islamic countries and in particular the role and leadership of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. […]