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Iran rejects GCC statement on three Iranian islands

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 Saeed Khatibzadeh

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has reacted to the final statement of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), stressing that the islands of Greater Tunb, lesser Tunb and Abu Musa definitely belong to Iran.

Saeed Khatibzadeh said the “baseless and repetitive” allegations with regard to the Iranian islands will not change the fact that the islands will remain as sovereign Iranian territories forever.

On Thursday night, the GCC issued a statement at the end of its 149 foreign ministerial meeting, claiming that “any action that Iran takes on these three islands is invalid and has no effect on the sovereignty of the UAE over them”.

Khatibzadeh also said Iran will not allow any interference in its peaceful nuclear and missile programs, as well as matters related to its deterrence and defense.

He said Iran’s priority, particularly under the new government, is to strengthen cooperation and develop relations with all its neighbors without foreign interference.

He also expressed hope that members of the GCC would embrace interregional dialogue and take confidence-building measures to strengthen diplomacy instead of making impractical demands from countries outside the region.  

Khatibzadeh said the GCC should know that unacceptable demands and false accusations against the Islamic Republic will not help resolve the regional problems, adding there needs to be a constructive interaction among the regional states.

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