Oman agrees to deepen ties with Iran central bank

DUBAI, March 26 (Reuters) - Oman's central bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iranian central bank to strengthen financial and economic cooperation between the two countries, the Omani institution said on Sunday.

It did not give details of the cooperation, but said the agreement would boost bilateral trade and include training for Iranian central bankers.

Worried by the threat of U.S. legal action against Iran over money laundering accusations, most central banks around the world as well as major international banks have been reluctant to develop ties with Tehran.

But Oman has traditionally had close business and diplomatic relations with Iran, and it is hoping for Iranian investment to help it cope with economic pressure due to low oil prices. Last year an Omani sovereign wealth fund agreed to study a proposal to build an auto plant in Oman with Iranian investment.

Last April Bank Muscat, Oman's largest bank, said it had received all regulatory approvals to open a representative office in Iran. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by Susan Thomas)