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Ex-adviser to UAE crown prince compares Iran's 'occupation' of Gulf islands to Israel occupation

Emirati academic Abdulkhaleq Abdulla
Former adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, 12 April 2018

A former adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, has sparked controversy by comparing Iran's "occupation" of three islands in the Gulf contested between his country and Tehran to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

"The brazen Iranian military man who visited the occupied UAE islands knows that Israel has carried out 1,000 air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria and destroyed 50 military installations and killed about 200 Iranian soldiers. This cowardly soldier did not fire a single bullet towards Israel, but he is flexing his muscles day and night before the Arab Gulf states," he wrote on Twitter.

"A self-conceited Iranian military commander comes to the occupied UAE islands to practice arrogance and bullying and to issue intrusive threats that increase tension in the Arabian Gulf. Yet, his provocative visit does not change historical facts that the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa are Emirati islands, and Iran's occupation of them is no different from the Israeli occupation of Palestine," he added in a separate post.

Abdulla's remarks came after the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Hossein Salami, visited the three islands and threatened that his country would respond firmly to any act of aggression against them.

READ: Iran seizes South Korea tanker bound for UAE

Mauritanian political activist and scholar, Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Shinqiti, responded to Abdulla's post saying: "If Iran's occupation of your islands is no different from Israel's occupation of Palestine, then this is good news for Iran without a doubt, because you will give in to it and normalize your relations with it," in reference to Abu Dhabi's recent peace deal with the occupation authorities in Tel Aviv.

Another user said the UAE has "devoted its financial, military and political arsenal to destroy Libya and kill its children and people", yet it did not move a finger to defend its "occupied islands".

Others reminded the Emirati scholar of the volume of trade between his country and Iran which amounts to $13 billion.

The United Arab Emirates accuses Iran of illegally occupying the Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs since 30 November 1971, just two days before the establishment of the UAE.

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