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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 March 2019

Iranian policy over occupied islands reveals Tehran's wider regional stance, says Gargash

Iran occupied the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa on the eve of the UAE's Federation

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. Reuters 
Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates. Reuters 

Iranian policy over three UAE islands in the Arabian Gulf shows Tehran's larger regional stance, Dr Anwar Gargash said on Monday.

The Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa were seized by Tehran in 1971, leading the UAE and Iran into a decades-old quarrel.

The three islands sit near an important oil shipping channel, the Strait of Hormuz. For years, the UAE has pushed for arbitration to settle the status of the islands in accordance with international law.

Dr Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted that Iran was "embarrassing itself in every international forum because its occupation remains illegal".

He was referring to the outburst on Saturday by the Iranian representative to the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation in Abu Dhabi.

The official hit the table with his country name card and raised his hand during the conference closing statement in reaction to the UAE's request that the two countries "reach a peaceful solution that ends the Iranian occupation of the three Emirati islands".

“Iran's sensitivity towards its occupation of the islands is illogical," Dr Gargash said.

During the OIC conference on Friday and Saturday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, called on Iran to stop spreading chaos in the region.

“We reiterate our demands to our neighbour Iran to review its policy and to stop interference in the affairs of states, supporting groups that fuel conflicts and to stop supporting, financing and arming terrorist organisations,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, repeated the organisation's support for the UAE’s peaceful measure to restore its sovereignty over the occupied islands.

For decades the UAE has called on Iran to respond to its request to reach a peaceful solution.

“The UAE’s occupied islands present a clear example of the occupier’s logic," Dr Gargash tweeted.

But he said Iran had no "legitimacy for its actions”.

Updated: March 5, 2019 12:18 AM

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