According to Iranian state media, on Wednesday, Iran called in the Russian ambassador for a meeting. The summons was in response to a joint statement issued by Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council regarding three islands that are subject to a territorial dispute involving the United Arab Emirates.
On Monday, Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a joint statement in which foreign ministers expressed their support for a UAE initiative to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice.
Iran will not negotiate over three Gulf islands disputed with the United Arab Emirates, the legal adviser to Iran’s president said following Tehran’s summoning of the Russian ambassador over a statement about the islands.
“Examining all past documents shows that these islands belong to Iran and cannot be disputed,” said the Legal Advisor Mohammad Dehghan.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the statement as contrary to friendly relations between Iran and its neighbors, adding “the three islands belong to Iran forever.”
The islands, Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, are claimed by both countries but have been held by Iran since 1971, shortly before the seven Gulf emirates gained full independence from Britain and formed the UAE, now allied with Washington.