Iran summons Russian ambassador for comments on Persian Gulf territorial dispute in rare spat

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran summoned the Russian ambassador on Wednesday after Moscow issued a joint statement with Arab countries earlier this week challenging Iran’s claim to the disputed Persian Gulf islands. .

It is a rare spat between Iran and Russia, who have deepened their ties since Moscow invaded Ukraine, with Iran supplying killer drones that have been used there to devastating effect. Iran and Russia are also strong supporters of President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency said the ambassador was summoned following a joint statement issued on Monday after a meeting in Moscow between Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

In the statement, the ministers affirmed their support for efforts “to achieve a peaceful solution to the question of the three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice”, according to the Saudi press. Agency.

Iran took control of the three islands after British forces withdrew in 1971 and considers them an “inseparable” part of its territory. The UAE also claims all three islands and has long called for a negotiated solution.

“We never hold ceremonies with any party on Iran’s independence, sovereignty and integrity,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian tweeted, without naming Russia.

Iran summoned the Chinese envoy for similar remarks on the disputed islands in December.

The three islands dominate the approach to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which roughly a fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

Iran claims the islands were part of Persian states from ancient times until their occupation by the British in the early 20th century. It also says an agreement with Sharjah, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, gives it the right to administer Abu Musa and station troops there.

There is no such agreement on the other two islands. The UAE claims it belonged to the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah until Iran seized it by force days before the Emirati federation was formed.

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