Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has tasked the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) to make Gulf islands disputed with neighbouring UAE “habitable”, Iranian Fars news agency reported.
Speaking on the national Persian Gulf Day, Commander of the Navy Commodore Alireza Tangsiri, said: “We intend to build infrastructure in these islands to make them habitable to resettle residents there in implementation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces’ orders.”
He added that when the Supreme leader wants to make the islands habitable, “it means that we want to make the region secure”.
According to Tangsiri, the IRGC has built international airports in Abu Musa and the Greater Tunb Islands and another island has been constructed in the Lesser Tunb.
For years relations between the UAE and Iran have been tense due to the dispute over the three islands.
The relations further deteriorated as a result of the conflict in Yemen which sees the Iran-backed Houthis battle against an Arab coalition headed by Saudi Arabia but of which the UAE is a member. Last week UAE-backed forces in Yemen declared self-rule over the south of the country including the strategic town of Aden.