UAE slams Iran’s occupation of its islands

Iranian policy over occupied islands reveals Tehran’s wider regional stance, says Gargash

The Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa are located near an important oil shipping channel
Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. Reuters
Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. Reuters

Iranian policy vis-a-vis three occupied islands in the Arabian Gulf is revealing of Tehran’s larger regional stance, Dr Anwar Gargash said on Monday, in reference to the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa.

The islands were seized by Iran in 1971, ushering the neighbouring countries into a decades-old quarrel. The three islands sit near an important oil shipping channel, at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz. For years, the UAE has pushed for arbitration to settle the status of the islands in accordance with international law.

In a series of tweets, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said Iran was “embarrassing itself in every international forum because its occupation remains illegal.” A veiled reference to the outburst on Saturday of the Iranian representative to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi.

The Iranian official drew attention to himself when he raucously tapped the table with his country name-card and raised his hand during the conference closing statement. While the cause remains unconfirmed, it is likely to have been in reaction to the UAE’s request that the two countries “reach a peaceful solution which ends the Iranian occupation of the three Emirati islands.”

“Iran’s sensitivity towards its occupation of the islands is illogical,” Dr Gargash said.

During the OIC conference on Friday and Saturday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed called on Iran to stop spreading chaos in the region. “We reiterate our demands to our neighbour Iran to review its policy and to stop interference in the affairs of states, supporting groups that fuel conflicts and to stop supporting, financing and arming terrorist organisations,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

Saudi Arabia Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, also reiterated the OIC’s support for the UAE’s peaceful measure to restore its sovereignty over the occupied islands.

For decades the UAE has called on Iran to respond positively to its request to reach a peaceful solution.

“The UAE’s occupied islands present a clear example of the occupier’s logic,” Dr Gargash tweeted. However, he added, Iran has no “legitimacy for its actions”.

Source » thenational

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