1. Holy cow.
State media in Oman is reporting that Sultan Qaboos has died at 79. The challenge is he has never had an heir.
One week after the death of Qasem Suleimani...this is a significant event.
Both Iranian and American leaders will be at his funeral
2. This is a major event because Oman has been an island (not literally) of tranquility in the Middle-East and the Sultan was one of the few people who could mediate between the US and Iran.
The Sultan has no apparent heir...a council will likely decide who his heir is
3. The Sultan was always rumored to be gay and he never had any children. He married once and that ended in divorce in 1979.
4. The Sultan did apparently leave envelopes with the name of his choice but that is only if a council failed to come up with a choice of a successor.
The point is though, there is no natural heir. And that causes some stress and concern.
5. The reason this is a bigger deal now is tensions are at an all time high with the US and Iran. If he had died a year ago, it would have been a major moment (he's been in power for 50 years), but not as significant as this.
6. Oman has a new Sultan
Sultan Qaboos cousin, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, who previously served as Cultural Minister, has been chosen to succeed his cousin.
He is 65-years-old. I am not sure if the new Sultan has any children...that would solve future succession concerns
You can follow @yashar.
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