Iran reiterates claim to Gulf islands

Iran has reiterated its ownership of three Gulf islands after the new United Arab Emirates president renewed calls for a resolution to the territorial row.

    Reza Asefi: These islands belong to Iran and will remain so

    Iran gained control of three strategic islands - Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa - after British forces left the Gulf in 1971. 

    Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday only Abu Musa could be open to any form of discussion. 

    "To us it is not the issue of three islands. There is misunderstanding over the Iranian island of Abu Musa, which can be discussed according to the 1971 memorandum of understanding," Asefi said. 

    But he added that regardless of any discussions, "these islands belong to Iran and will undoubtedly remain so in the future".

    The dispute

    Iran took possession of Greater and Lesser Tunbs in 1971, while the only inhabited island - Abu Musa - became subject to joint administration under a deal with Sharja, what is now part of the UAE. 

    But since then, the UAE contends, the Iranians have taken
    control of all access to the island, installed an airport and
    military base there as well as encouraged settlers to move there to shift the demography. 

    The three islands lie roughly half way between the Iranian port of Bandar-e Langeh and Dubai in the UAE.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.