Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Iran Designates Abu Musa “Special Tourist Zone”

Move Expected to Increase Tensions with UAE

Iran’s cabinet today designated Abu Musa Island as “Special Tourist Zone.” The government will facilitate low-cost tours of the island by Iranian and foreign tourists, Fars News reported. The move came a week after President Ahmadinejad’s visit to the island and the ensuing UAE’s protest over the visit, and is expected to further increase tensions between the two countries.

Britain handed over the control of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb islands to Iran when it moved out of the Persian Gulf in 1971, and in return the Iranian government dropped its historic claim over Bahrain. But soon after its formation, the UAE claimed ownership of the islands. Yesterday, the UAE foreign minister said his country’s dispute with Iran over the three islands could threaten the global security and today the GCC countries are meeting in Riyadh to strategize a common response to Iran.


Anonymous said...

Compare and contrast this arising situation with the 'Islas Malvinas/Falkland islands' dispute - if England can claim ownership of colonized land that lies 8000 miles (12,700km) away, but which actually is part of the South American continental shelf, then surely Iran must be able to make a rightful case for retaining a few tiny islands in its vicinity: the Abu Musa and Greater & Lesser tunb.

Nader Uskowi said...

I don’t believe the distance is a major factor here; if it was, then the UAE had a strong claim over Abu Musa, as it is so close to Sharjah. The fact is that the transfer of control of the three islands to Iran was part of a larger settlement that included the Iranian recognition of the independence of Bahrain. The settlement was agreed upon by Britain, Iran, Bahrain, and the predecessor of the UAE. If one part of the settlement is questioned, i.e. Iranian control of the three islands, then the other part, i.e. Bahrain’s independence from Iran, should also be revisited.

Anonymous said...

Mr Uskowi you couldn't put it simpler than that.
The whole issue is just political farce by both parties.

Leopersica said...

@anon 10:25
I do not agree with you ,UAE is using the political tensions between US and Iran to lay claim on the islands.

Its not a matter of ethnic animosity between Arabs and Iranians .
All the Arab Neighbors in The GCC have territorial disputes among them selves.
Its part of the Bedouin heritage .... to steel land ,women ,livestock and food from your neighbor ....
in the 37 years of their inceptions as city states they have adopted a more civilized and civic form of living .Very soon they will drop their last bad habit ,I'm very happy they are not raiding their neighbors for their women anymore.

Anonymous said...


That's your opinion.We are well versed in Arab customs regarding rape and pillage during the Islamic conquest of Iran.
The Islamic government of Iran uses the nationalist card when it suits them.This is just political farce.

Unknown said...

Right or wrong is really not at issue here. With iran's star dwindling after more than 30 years of the IRR, the UAE has a chance of getting the UN to change the status of the islands.
In a perfect world, the inhabitated island should have the right for self determination regardless of which country has colonial claim on it.