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Iran restates sovereignty over islands

25 May 2010 9:32

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has again dismissed UAE’s oft-repeated claims to Iran’s three Persian Gulf islands.

Mehmanparast reiterated that the UAE’s claim was unfounded as the three islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa were “inseparable parts of the Iranian territory” based on historical evidence, IRIB reported on Tuesday.

The issue of the three islands re-emerged after foreign ministers of the six-member [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) released a communiqué following a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

In the communiqué, the group, comprised of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, backed the UAE claim to the three Iranian islands located in the Persian Gulf and urged Tehran to settle the matter by direct talks or through the International Court of Justice.

Mehmanparast said that GCC’s support of the claim has amounted to a “blatant interference in Iran’s internal affairs.”

The Iranian spokesperson, however, repeated that any possible misunderstanding could be best removed through bilateral talks.

The three Persian Gulf islands in question have historically been part of Iran, proof of which can be found and corroborated independently of each other in countless historical, legal and geographical documents in Iran and other parts of the world.

The islands temporarily fell under British control in the 1800s but were returned to Iran on November 30, 1971 through a legal procedure that preceded the establishment of the United Arab Emirates as a state.

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