Shafaq News/ The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reiterated its claim to sovereignty over three strategically essential islands in the Gulf - Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb. Their mention prompted this statement during a recent Arab-Japanese political dialogue meeting in Cairo.
Nasser Kanaani, spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that these islands are an integral and inalienable part of Iranian territory. He dismissed any political or legal significance attached to their mention in the meeting's final statement.
Kanaani also pointed out that referencing these islands in the statement constitutes a breach of international law principles, particularly the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and the respect for the territorial integrity of nations.
Commodore Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the Navy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, previously expressed Iran's determination to develop these disputed islands in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb are in the Persian Gulf and are currently under Iranian administration.
Abu Musa, the largest of the three, spans approximately 13 square kilometers and is home to around 1,500 residents, mainly fishermen and farmers. Greater Tunb, the second largest, covers about 6 square kilometers and is uninhabited, as is Lesser Tunb, the smallest island with an area of about 3 square kilometers.
These islands are strategically situated in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital narrow waterway serving as the primary shipping route between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The strait is crucial for oil transportation, accounting for approximately 20% of the world's oil exports.
The dispute over the ownership of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb dates back to the formation of the UAE in 1971. The ongoing disagreement has fueled tension between Iran and the UAE.
In 2019, Iran's deployment of military forces to Abu Musa heightened tensions further. The UAE maintains its claim to the islands, while Iran asserts its ownership.