Official: Iran entitled to exercise sovereignty over Gulf islands
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian underlined Tehran's sovereignty over the three islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb in the Persian Gulf, and warned that Tehran will never allow others to harm its national security, Fars reported.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran assumes exercising its sovereignty over the Iranian islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb as its legal right," Amir Abdollahian told FNA on Tuesday.
He dismissed the UAE and other sides' claims on the three islands in the Persian Gulf, and said, "As regards the country's national security and sovereignty, the Islamic Republic of Iran doesn't allow anyone to make an aggression and will adopt effective actions" against such aggressive moves.
In relevant remarks earlier, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast also deplored the territorial claims raised by the UAE over the three islands, and reiterated that the three islands are indispensable parts of the Iranian territory.
"The three Iranian islands are indispensable and everlasting parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran's soil and the repetition of such baseless claims will have no impact on the realities on the ground," Mehman-Parast said on Tuesday.
Stressing that raising such claims will have not benefit for the two countries' interests and relations, he expressed the hope that the UAE government would move in the direction of regional cooperation and convergence which are vital for the interests of the countries and their people and consolidation of stability and security in the region.
Abu Musa, along with two smaller islands, was taken over by Iran after British forces withdrew in 1971. It is claimed by both countries, but controlled by Iran.