IRGC Navy Commander Alireza Tangsiri

IRGC Warns Against ‘Divisive Plans’ in Persian Gulf

Wednesday, 08/02/2023

In the midst of a military exercise in the three contested islands of the Persian Gulf, the IRGC Navy Commander reiterated Iranian sovereignty.

Alireza Tangsiri advised regional states on Wednesday to avoid involvement in "divisive plans of extra-regional countries”.

The islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf have been a longstanding territorial dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

During the exercise, Tangsiri did not explicitly name any specific country but referred to a joint statement made last month by Russia and Arab countries in the Persian Gulf supporting the UAE's claims over the islands.

Tangsiri called the islands "the honor of the great nation of Iran" and vowed to protect the Islamic homeland's territorial integrity.

The ongoing exercise showcased the presence of a special unit and a "600 km long-range missile for defending the islands' territory".

However, the UAE considers Iran's sovereignty over these islands illegal, adding to the complexity of the territorial disputes which has become an international geopolitical issue.

Like China did in December, Russia signed a statement with the Gulf Cooperation Council in early July challenging Iran's ownership of three islands.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian recently expressed deep dissatisfaction with Moscow's explanations regarding the joint statement, Russia one of the regime’s closest allies.

The revival of the dispute comes amid the Iranian regime's efforts to strengthen its relations with the likes of UAE and Saudi Arabia under President Ebrahim Raisi's leadership.

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