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Thu 11 Mar 2010 06:55 PM

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Iran rejects UAE's claims to 3 disputed islands

"The three islands remain an indisputable part of the Iranian territory.'

Iran has once again rejected UAE's claims to three "Iranian" islands, according to a report on Thursday by an Iranian news network.

"The baseless claims made by the GCC in Riyadh over the Iranian islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa is a clear interference in Iran's internal affairs," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Press TV, an English-language Iranian news network.

"The three islands remain an indisputable part of the Iranian territory. We have repeatedly said that the slight misunderstanding between Iran and the UAE over Abu Musa is resolvable and the interference of other parties will never help solve the problem," he added.

In May 2009, the UAE made calls for Iran to start talks over the three disputed islands.

"The UAE seeks to settle the issue of the occupied Islands, but regrettably three decades had lapsed and nothing positive over the issue so far," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammad Gargash told the WAM news agency at the time.

Iran gained control of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa islands in 1971, as Britain granted independence to its Gulf protectorates and withdrew its forces.

Iran took possession of the Tunbs, while Abu Musa - the only inhabited island - was placed under joint administration under a deal with Sharjah, now part of the UAE.

The UAE has the full backing of fellow GCC states Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in its claim to the islands, near the Strait of Hormuz, through which an estimated 40 percent of the world's crude oil passes.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

AJ 10 years ago

Waiting for blabbermouths to begin. Com'on already! If this is published, then I know AB hasn't banned me.

Mike Jones 10 years ago

There is no legitimacy over these claims, the same goes for Bahrain.Historically they belonged to Persia! At no times did the Trucial States own anything beyond the coastline. Yet again oil money is trying to rewrite history, with no factual support.

Sarah 10 years ago

Iranian's recent effort in trying to gain control and influence over Strait of Hormuz and the gulf water has a clear implication of its greed to claim for tax over the oil traffic, probably using this to fund its nuclear ambition instead of channelling fund to citizen. Iran has clearly enough of land and shoreline that she needs.

Mounir 10 years ago

Mike Jones; Persia never expanded its territory via naval means, but the Arabs did and expanded their reach from the Arabian Peninsula all the way to what is today Indonesia and Spain. If you cared to do some research you would see that almost ALL of Iran's gulf coast is / was inhabited by Arabs (and ONLY Arabs) who hailed from the Arabian peninsula. They carry the same tribal names and can trace their heritage to the tribes who still live on the arabian side of the gulf. The Gulf is Arabian, jsut because Iran needs to have a reason to cause havoc in the gulf does not mean that it has the correct information. Read up on the Ahwaz (arab sunni populations of southern Iran) to learn more about who travelled to where, and who inhabited what.

Mike Jones 10 years ago

Dear Ahwaz , I suggest that you look towards history! The Khuzestan area was always settled by negroid people, the arab influx is of rather recent time in history. The rest of the coast line is settled by Lori's and there is nothing Arab about them. The Gulf Islands were first influenced by Portugal and later by Britain. Iran only took back what was historically theirs. I understand that you would rather bury your head in the sand and ignore history and that is your choice. Bahrain is a good example of Iran walking away from what was theirs. Al Khalifa family who rule Bahrain are from Qatar. All tribes on the "other side of the Gulf" are from Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia) including the Bani Yas of UAE. So I suggest you read a few more books before responding to my comments. Today's emotions , can not re write history.

Mike Jones 10 years ago

BTW what does Sunni and Shi'a have to do with coastal territory? A lot of the Iranian Arabs , emigrated to Iran because of the Ottoman Empire treatment of Arabs in what is today Iraq. In the same way that if you go to Zanzibar, there are people there who call themselves Persian's. I wonder how they got there given your facts?

Raymond 10 years ago

Dear Mounir, You have no idea what you're talking about! Do you? I am married to an Iranian lady and I've got to know a lot about this great land of Persia. Let's separate Persia and Iranian people from Iranian government who have hijacked the country. For at least 4500 years, the Gulf has been called Persian Gulf by historian from west and east. United Nations have considers the correct and accurate name as Persian Gulf. Shah of Iran lost Bahrain and a part of UAE to the brits who in return established a few new "independent" countries. Regarding Ahwaz, yes there are arabs in Ahwaz, but that doesn't prove much, as Iran is a large land and there are many many different races/tribes living side by side together. No wonder during the Iran/Iraq war, Ahwaz gave a lot of blood to defend its Iranian soil and fought against "Arab Irqis". Regards

Pershitan 10 years ago

These long lectures serve no purpose and are a strain on one's mental wellbeing, let the iranians call it persian gulf but this side will ever remain the Arabian Gulf.

Dan 10 years ago

I see people like Mounir among Arab youth using Arab nationalism in order to fill a void in their lives. I see people like Mounir attacking any criticism of anything Arabian as if their lives were threatened. But this void dose not has to cause such a defensive and destructive behavior. I sit with Arabs and discus the problems in my country Iran as we all know we have problems with our government in Iran. I don’t see it as an attack on my country when my Arab friends mention problems in Iran. When I mention problems in Dubai they don’t see it as an attack on Dubai cause they know I mean no harm and that I love the city. We have lived in peace side by side for long times. We could cooperate and make the region progress so we all benefit. I don’t see how trying to change The Persian Gulf to Arabian will benefit Arabs, but I can see you benefit 100 times more having Iran as your friend. By the way, I come from near Ahwas. Any one you ask in Ahwas will tell you they are Iranians. So dose the Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Lors, Fars, Turkmens, Beluches, and almost ten other folk groups. But INSIDE Iran they will tell you the name of their folk group. In Dubai I had those Arabs from south Iran telling me they were Iranians when I asked them where they come from.

Mike Jones 10 years ago

Pershitan, if you want to have a Gulf named after you , use the one that is already called the Arabian Gulf, it is what is today called Red Sea. You just can not start renaming the navigational routes, because it makes you feel better, Strait of Hormuz, is exactly that, so why not gang up with Oman and start calling it Musandam straights. Again a lesson for Munir, the local language of Musandam is Kumzari, which is a dialect of Persian Language, and not Arabic. Please stop inventing new names, just calling a place by a name does not mean it is owned by you, as the Arabs do not own the Arabian Sea, any more that Indians own the Indian Ocean.