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Volume :10 Issue : 37 1984      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

OMANI RESISTANCE TO PERSIAN CAMPAIGNS (1737 – 1744)

Auther : By: Dr. Tariq Nafi Al-Hamdani

The people of Oman played an important role in the political development of the Arabian Gulf particularly during the period extending from the close of 17th century to the early decades of the 18th century. They succeeded in extending their domain to the two littorals of the Gulf and far beyond them to the Indian Ocean. To counter this expansion, the Persians called for European assistance, which came into fruition only after the outbreak of tribal warfare inside Oman and this, in turn, gave them the opportunity to intervene in the internal affairs of Oman.

The eruption of hostilities between Imam Saif Ben-Sultan and his antagonist Balareb Ben_Himyar in 1736 induced the former to turn to the Shah of Persia Nadir Shah for military assistance. Nadir Shah responded promptly and gave orders to the Persian fleet to sail to the coast of Oman, ostensibly to support Imam Saif Ben-Sultan but covertly to gain control of his country. The defeat of Imam Saif’s contender was brought about in March 1737, but the outbreak of dissension with the invading Persian fleet admirals culminated in its withdrawal from Omani waters.

Imam Saif’s attempts to approach the Persians were repeated in 1738 and 1742 whenever he senses the insecurity and weakness of his internal political position. In 1738, Persian forces entered the town of Bahlla, Nizwa, Aski and Muscat, whereas in 1742 they managed to enter the Omani territory but failed to occupy Muttrah and Muscat.

What really is of significance is that, despite the collusion and connivance of Imam Saif Ben-Sultan and the Persians, the Omani people resisted persistently and vigorously all Persian attempts for the invasion of their homeland and prevented them from achieving any of their strategic objectives.

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