Iran Rejects UAE Renewed Call for Talks on Gulf Islands

Agence France Presse (AFP)10.12.2012 UAE
Iran Rejects UAE Renewed Call for Talks on Gulf Islands

Iran Rejects UAE Renewed Call for Talks on Gulf Islands

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Iran brushed away a renewed call from the United Arab Emirates for the two countries to resolve through discussion their vying claims to 3 strategic islands in the Gulf.

“Repeating baseless claims will not have any influence on existing realities. The 3 Iranian islands have been and will remain an integral part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s territory,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a statement.

Iran’s reassertion of sovereignty over the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, which lie in the strategic Strait of Hormuz entrance to the Gulf, was a blunt rejection of UAE appeals to open dialogue on the issue.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan on Sunday renewed the call for Iran to settle the dispute “dialogue and accept international arbitration.”

Tehran seized the islands in 1971, when colonial-era Britain withdrew from that part of the Gulf. It maintains the islands are a historic part of its territory and stations military forces on the largest of them.

The UAE claims ownership of the islands under an agreement signed with Britain, and has support from other Gulf Arab states and its ally the United States.

UAE Foreign Minister likened Iran's control of 3 islands to Israel's occupation of Arab territories.

“The occupation of any Arab land is an occupation. There is no difference between Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, southern Lebanon, the West Bank or Gaza, as occupation remains occupation... No Arab land is more precious than another,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said, referring to the islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Mousa.


Source: AFP; WAM; Google Maps



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