Iran Says Media Misquoted FM’s Words on Persian Gulf Island
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman corrected a misunderstanding that arose after Foreign Minister Zarif made comments on an old dispute over an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf.
This comes as some foreign media outlets have quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying during a Sunday press conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah that Tehran was ready to talk about Abu Musa, one of the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf, over which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made baseless claims.
On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham dismissed the media reports, and said, “According to the available record, a reporter asked about the Iranian islands, and our country’s foreign minister replied: ‘the misunderstanding about Abu Musa could be addressed through dialogue’.”
Zarif himself had reacted to the comments, saying, “I exactly expressed Iran’s normal position on the issue of Abu Musa Island that we have been always ready to talk to UAE to remove any misunderstanding about the Islands.”
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed called for a partnership with Iran last week when he became the first Gulf Arab official to visit Tehran since the agreement was signed.
Also, a senior Iranian lawmaker reiterated Iran’s eternal ownership of the three Persian Gulf islands, but said Tehran is ready to clear misunderstandings on the issue.
“Our policy on the United Arab Emirates, as we have repeatedly said, is that we are ready to negotiate with the country to clear misunderstandings,” Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Monday.
“It is natural that the three islands are an inseparable part of the Islamic Republic’s soil and its territorial integrity which are not negotiable.” Boroujerdi pointed out.
Iranian officials have repeatedly emphasized that the three islands of Abu Musa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs in the Persian Gulf are an integral part of the country.
The three islands have historically been part of Iran, proof of which can be found and corroborated by countless historical, legal, and geographical documents in Iran and other parts of the world. However, the United Arab Emirates has repeatedly laid claim to the islands.
The islands fell under British control in 1921 but on November 30, 1971, a day after British forces left the region and just two days before the UAE was to become an official federation, Iran's sovereignty over the islands was restored.
Iran recognizes that Arabs ruled the islands for centuries, but all historical documents show that they did so from the Iranian port city of Lengheh and therefore as Iranian subjects.