Protest against President Ahmadinejad’s Visit to Abu Musa
The UAE has recalled its ambassador to Tehran after a visit today by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Abu Musa Island in the Persian Gulf. The island, some 60 km (40 miles) off the UAE coast, along with the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands, has been held by Iran since 1971 in a deal worked out by the Shah’s government with the departing Britain to recognize the independence of Bahrain in return for the ownership of the three islands. The UAE, not yet formed at the time of the British-Iranian agreement, also claims ownership of the islands.
The UAE foreign ministry called President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Musa a “flagrant violation” of its sovereignty.
Ahmadinejad's visit "is a flagrant violation of the United Arab Emirates' sovereignty over its territory and a transgression of efforts to find a peaceful settlement to end Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands," UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said [WAM/Reuters, 12 April].
In Tehran, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian rejected the protests and said Ahmadinejad's visit was an "internal Iranian matter [Fars News Agency, 12 April].