x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Iran denies it is cutting ties with UAE over disputed islands

Iran has denied comments about cutting ties with the UAE over the disputed islands in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has denied comments about cutting ties with the UAE over the disputed islands in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran's news agency website, www.icana.ir, had published statements on Tuesday attributed to the country's foreign ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, saying Iran would sever ties with the UAE if it repeats "anti-Iranian, baseless claims".

The website said that "downgrading or cutting diplomatic ties" would be "the only option to secure national interests", if the UAE continued its claims to own the three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.

"The continuous and repetitive Emirati claims will have a negative impact on various parts of the relationship" with Iran, it said.

However, according to WAM, a source at the Foreign Ministry said the statements had been misinterpreted.

The source, who said the remarks were unprofessional, said the ministry had the right to take action against those responsible for misquoting the spokesman.

"The selection of the title (of the published story) and subject in this inappropriate way and the distortion of the statements made by the spokesman, whether intentionally or unintentionally, raise doubts about the intentions behind this," he said.

Iran took control of the three islands in 1971 and currently dominate the approach to the Strait of Hormuz, which is a key waterway through which much of the world's oil supply passes.

The islands are recognised internationally as being sovereign UAE land.

molson@thenational.ae