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Iran summons Russia's envoy over comments on Gulf islands

July 13, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani [@IRIMFA_EN/Twitter]

Iran has summoned the Russian Ambassador in Tehran, Alexey Dedov, following a joint statement by Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that affirmed their support for the United Arab Emirates’ sovereignty over the islands which Tehran disputes, Anadolu news agency reported.

On Monday, Russia and the GCC issued a joint statement in which foreign ministers expressed their support for a UAE initiative to reach a peaceful solution to the islands issue through bilateral negotiations or at the International Court of Justice.

The ministers, according to the statement, “affirmed their support for all peaceful efforts, including the initiative of the UAE and its endeavours, to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the rules of international law and the United Nations Charter, to resolve this issue in accordance with international legitimacy.”

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After the statement, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Didov and expressed Tehran’s “objection to the content of the statement,” calling on Russia to correct its position on this issue.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Tuesday that the islands “perennially belong to Iran”, considering “issuing these kinds of statements is in contradiction to Iran’s friendly relations with its neighbours.”

For his part, the Russian ambassador stressed respect for the territorial integrity of Iran, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency.

The three islands are located in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, where more than 40 per cent of the world’s traded oil sails on tankers every day.

Iran has controlled the islands since 1971, shortly before the seven Gulf emirates gained independence from Britain and formed the UAE.

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