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.