x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Saudi Crown Prince rebukes Iran over Gulf islands

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud described as “unacceptable” Tehran’s attitude towards three islands that Iran occupies and the UAE claims, a report said.

RIYADH // Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud described as “unacceptable” Tehran’s attitude towards three islands that Iran occupies and the UAE claims, a report said.

“I reiterate the kingdom’s condemnation to the unacceptable attitude of neighbouring Iran that continues to ignore the legitimate right of the United Arab Emirates over its three occupied islands,” said Prince Nayef, who is also the interior minister.

“Any harm towards any of our [GCC] countries affects us all,” he said in a statement carried by the state news agency SPA late on Wednesday.

Prince Nayef pledged his country’s full support to the UAE and Bahrain, saying “their security and stability is partof the security of all GCC states”.

Bahrain is facing daily pro-tests by members of its Shiite majority, and clashes between protesters and police.Bahrain and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of backing the protesters in the kingdom.

Avisit by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on April 11 to Abu Musa – the only one of the three disputed islands which is inhabited – sparked protests from the UAE and its Gulf allies.

The GCC angrily labelled the visit “a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the UAE over its three islands”.