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Iran, UAE rehash tensions over contested islands 

“The three islands are inseparable swaths of Iranian territory and any declare on them is vehemently rejected,” learn an announcement by Iran’s everlasting mission to the United Nations.

The assertion got here as a response to UAE Deputy International Minister Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar, who informed the UN Normal Meeting on Monday his nation would proceed to demand “sovereignty over the islands occupied by Iran.” He was referring to Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Better Tunb, all situated within the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian facet additionally issued a delicate reminder to the Emirati official to use “the correct designation … for the waters stretching between the Arabian Peninsula and the Iranian plateau.” With excessive sensitivity, Iranian authorities have argued that primarily based on quite a few historic paperwork, the “Persian Gulf” is strictly uninterchangeable with the “Gulf” or the “Arab Gulf.”

After the British pullout in 1971, the three islands had been managed by the Imperial Iranian Navy through the reign of the final king within the Pahlavi Dynasty, Mohammad Reza Shah, who was overthrown eight years later. But the Islamic Republic has relentlessly maintained the established order within the three islands. In his speech, Marar reiterated that Iranian management was “in flagrant violation of worldwide legislation and the United Nations Constitution.”

The contested islands haven’t been the one level of competition between the 2 sides in recent times. The wars in Syria and Yemen have seen Tehran and Abu Dhabi commerce barbs on two opposing fronts. Even Iran’s former International Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif positioned the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in a listing of warmongers he known as the “B-Group,” which additionally included former US nationwide safety adviser John Bolton, ex-Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Solely final September, the UAE authorities drew Iran’s ire and concern by getting into a normalization deal with Israel, Tehran’s sworn enemy.

However all these tensions and regional rivalries, each Tehran and Abu Dhabi have come out with occasional indicators for rapprochement up to now two years. Solely months into the coronavirus pandemic, with which Iran continues to be grappling because the worst-hit Center East nation, the UAE shipped much-needed medical supplies to assist the Islamic Republic management the raging virus.

And again in August, Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi met with an unnamed UAE envoy in Tehran earlier than his official inauguration, calling the Emirates an “trustworthy buddy” as he spoke of willingness for nearer ties.

Regardless of these diplomatic gestures and efforts, nonetheless, Iran’s newest assertion on the three islands demonstrated little greater than zero progress towards de-escalation, because it famous that Tehran doesn’t even acknowledge the problem as a “dispute”; relatively, they contemplate it a “misunderstanding.”

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