Emboldened by its close ties to the U.S., the United Arab Emirates is taking a more aggressive approach to challenging Iran over a territorial claim to three tiny Persian Gulf islands - even at the risk of antagonizing its powerful neighbor, the Associated Press reported.
The tough talk is part of the oil-rich country's push to be taken more seriously as a major global player.
For three decades, the Emirates contested the islands located in the strategic Strait of Hormuz in a relatively
low key manner. But this summer, it switched tactics - turning to tougher diplomacy to drum up support for what it calls the liberation of Arab territory from Iran's illegal occupation.
In particular, it protested the recent opening of two offices by Iran on the largest of the islands, Abu Musa.