Iran-UAE Dispute Over Persian Gulf Islands on Agenda
GCC foreign ministers will hold a special meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss the islands dispute between Iran and the UAE, Emirates 24/7 and AFP reported today.
The Gulf Cooperation Council meeting comes after Abu Dhabi recalled its ambassador to Tehran in protest at a visit to Abu Musa Island last Wednesday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Abu Dhabi has also lodged a protest with the UN over Ahmadinejad's visit, stressing that the territorial dispute should be resolved through negotiations or at the International Court of Justice.
Iran referred to the visit as a purely "domestic issue."
Iran under the Shah gained control of the islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb in 1971, as Britain withdrew its forces. In return, the shah’s government recognized the independence of Bahrain.
Abu Musa, the only inhabited island of the three, was placed under joint administration in a deal with the emirate of Sharjah, now part of the UAE. Iran has since taken control of the entire island which controls access to the Persian Gulf and have installed an airport and military base on Abu Musa.