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Iran welcomes Arab League statement on Syria integrity

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi

Iran has welcomed a final statement by Arab League summit of leaders in Tunisia endorsing Syria’s sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday that Arab League’s move to support Syria’s territorial integrity on the occupied Golan Heights was a “positive and promising” step in the face of efforts by the United States to legitimize Israel’s occupation of the area.

“... We believe that the Muslim world should continue to prioritize the issue of the occupation of the Arab-Muslim lands by the illegitimate Israeli regime,” said Qassemi in a statement.

The comments come amid an international uproar about US President Donald Trump’s provocative decision to recognize "Israeli sovereignty" over Syria’s Golan Heights. In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied some two-thirds of Syria’s Golan Heights and annexed the region four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.

Sovereignty over Persian Gulf islands undeniable

Qassemi further criticized parts of the final statement of the Arab League summit which claimed Iran was interfering in the internal affairs of the Arab nations. He also condemned claims in the statement which expressed doubts about Iran’s sovereignty on the three islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, located in the Persian Gulf.

“We strongly reject and condemn wrong and baseless claims on our country’s interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries as well as claims on Iran’s three islands,” said the Iranian official, adding that Iran’s permanent policy was to refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of its neighbors.

Iran has repeatedly rejected claims by the United Arab Emirates about the three Iranian islands, saying that they are “inseparable” part of Iran.

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