Diplomatic spat between Iran and UAE heats up
Iran warned the United Arab Emirates yesterday it would consider cutting diplomatic ties if the federation pressed its claim to three disputed tiny Gulf islands which both countries say are theirs, Iranian media reported.
The three islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb sit near important oil shipping channels at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz and were claimed by the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1971, just before the seven Gulf emirates won independence from Britain and formed the UAE.
Iran has said its sovereignty over the three islands is non-negotiable and Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said yesterday Iran would consider downgrading ties with the UAE if it continued to make claims.
"If the baseless anti-Iranian claims reach a point where national interests lie in lessening or cutting political relations, this step will be taken with consultation and based on expert analysis," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by parliamentary news agency Icana.
Last month, UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan said Iran's "occupation" of the three islands was against international law.
The 41-year-old dispute between Shi'ite Iran and the Sunni UAE has nationalist and ethnic overtones and has been inflamed in recent months after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad visited Abu Musa in April.
In response, the UAE recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations, calling the visit a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty.
- What's its secret? Kuwait sustains non-oil growth for two years
- The reliable consumer: China on track to become biggest export market for GCC by 2020
- After the GCC 'happy' summit, is a customs union closer to reality?
- A bleak record: Turkey comes second in OECD income inequality list
- ًA safe bet? Why the ME's businessmen are chasing after St.Kitts and Nevis' citizenship
- IMF concerned about Dubai debt expansion to $142bn
- Early detection of Diabetes and related eye disease reduces the risk of vision loss in up to 90% cases
- How the Islamic State presented Iran with an unprecedented economic opportunity
- Beware of blood pressure, JAH warns UAE about the impending epidemic