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Iran rejects ‘baseless’ UAE claims to trio of Iranian islands

A view of Iran's Abu Musa Island in the Persian Gulf (Photo by ISNA)

The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN has dismissed the United Arab Emirates’ “baseless” claims over three Persian Gulf islands, stressing that they are an “inseparable” part of the Iranian territory.

Addressing the general debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Monday, the mission responded to UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar, who had spoken against Iran’s territorial integrity.

“I would like to respond to the UAE representative’s baseless claims against the territorial integrity of my country regarding the Iranian islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb,” the mission said in a statement.

“The Islamic Republic reiterates its fixed and principled position that it does not recognize the existence of such a dispute between Iran and the UAE. The three islands have been an inseparable part of Iranian soil, and thus any claim to the contrary is categorically rejected.”

However, the statement added, “in order to show its utmost respect for the principle of good neighborliness, Iran has always declared its readiness for a bilateral dialog with the UAE with the aim of eliminating any misunderstandings that may exist on the part of the UAE over Abu Musa Island.”

During a speech at the UN General Assembly, Marar called on Iran to end its alleged “occupation” of the three Iranian islands.

The strategically-positioned islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb have always been part of Iran, the proof of which can be corroborated by countless historical, legal, and geographical documents in Iran and other parts of the world.

Elsewhere in the statement, the Iranian mission urged the Emirati representative to use the accurate designation -- the Persian Gulf -- for reference to the waters between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula, instead of using a fabricated name. 

“The UAE representative should also be reminded that the correct term 'Persian Gulf' has been used since 500 BC to refer to the water zone between the Arabian Peninsula and the Iranian Plateau. This name will remain the same forever,” he added.

The Persian Gulf is an international trade route connecting the Middle East to Africa, India, and China. It has been referred to by historians and ancient texts as “Persian” since the Achaemenid Empire was established in what is now modern-day Iran.

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