Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani

Iran Irked By Russia Siding With UAE On Persian Gulf Islands

Thursday, 12/21/2023

The Islamic Republic condemned Russia’s stance in support of the United Arab Emirates’ sovereignty claims over three Persian Gulf islands.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Thursday that Tehran will not show “the slightest hesitation in maintaining its territorial integrity.”

He called the three islands “an inseparable part” of Iran, adding that the Islamic Republic considers as “non-negotiable” its territorial integrity and sovereignty over these islands.

The remarks came a day after the sixth Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Morocco concluded with a statement reiterating the UAE’s claim over the islands. The Russian delegation to the forum was led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“The statement supported peaceful solutions and initiatives aiming to resolve the conflict through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice, according to international law and the UN Charter,” the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

Moscow had previously voiced its support for UAE’s claim back in July during a joint summit between the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Russian Federation.

The three Persian Gulf islands have historically been part of Iran, proof of which can be corroborated by historical and geographical documents. However, the United Arab Emirates has repeatedly laid claim to the islands, describing the situation as “the continued occupation by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The three islands fell under British control in 1921 but on November 30, 1971, a day after British forces left the region and just two days before the UAE was to become an official federation, Mohammad Reza Shah sent the Iranian navy to secure all three. Iranian forces remain on the islands, with only Abu Musa having a civilian population which is less than two thousand.

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