Iran rejects GCC call to end isle row


Late TuesdaY, the foreign ministers of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met here and backed the United Arab Emirates’ claim to the territories.

“The ministerial council condemns Iran’s establishment of two administrative offices on Abu Musa island that belongs to the UAE and demands that Iran remove these illegal installations and respect the UAE’s sovereignty on its land,” the GCC ministers’ statement read.

It also expressed “regret for the failure of contacts with … Iran to reach any positive outcome towards a resolution to the issue of the three islands, which would bolster the stability and security of the region.”

Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, located near key shipping lanes in the Gulf, are controlled by non-Arab Iran but claimed by the United Arab Emirates with broad Arab support.

On Wednesday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi was quoted by Iran’s Mehr News Agency as saying the GCC “statement is interfering in Iran’s internal affairs and is rejected,” adding that the islands would forever belong to Iran.

“All our country’s measures on Abu Musa island are completely legal and in accordance with Iran’s rights OF governing this Iranian island,” foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said in a statement, calling on Gulf countries to be “realistic.”

The UAE had summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires last month to protest against Iran’s establishment of maritime offices on one of the islands and said the move should be reversed.

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