GCC Vows to Take UAE-Iran Disputed Islands to World Court
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will take the issue of the disputed three islands between UAE and Iran to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) if Tehran continues to refuse negotiating with Abu Dhabi to solve the issue, a Saudi foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the Gulf News daily Friday.
The official also did not rule out a GCC boycott of Iran economically and diplomatically, but said Saudi Arabia hopes "matters would not reach this stage because we have strong links with Iran in all fields."
In January, the GCC leaders wound up a summit in Bahrain with a statement condemning Iran's control of the islands of Abu Mousa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs since 1971.
Iran rejected the GCC call and said it was regrettable because it was a matter of sovereignty.
The senior official said that "it has been agreed (in the summit) to move in an organized and effective manner to deal with Iran regarding ending its occupation of the UAE islands so as not waste any more time."
"If Iran continues not to respond and refuses to sit at the negotiating table, the ICJ will be resorted to," the official said.
The GCC had formed a tripartite committee of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman in 1999 to try and bring Abu Dhabi and Tehran to the negotiating table. But its mandate was declared "finished" during the summit because Tehran has refused to meet the committee.
In the meantime, Bahrain will soon launch diplomatic activities aimed at explaining the unified position of GCC states in support of UAE, said the paper, quoting the Emirati News Agency (WAM).
Sources said that Bahrain, which holds the GCC presidency, will brief regional and international countries on the anger of GCC states over Iran's rejection of their efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the dispute, said the paper -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)