Saturday, March 22, 2008

The non-nuclear case against Iran

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Iran must end its occupation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa (from "Letter dated 13 March 2006 from the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council"-UN/Int/UAE)

During his visit to the Persian Gulf in March 1995, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry repeatedly warned of Iran's military buildup near the mouth of the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Perry noted that Iran had deployed Chinese manu­factured Silkworm anti-ship missiles, Hawk surface-to-air missiles, an esti­mated 6,000 troops and chemical weap­ons. Although Perry did not specify the exact location of these troops or weap­ons, the Department of Defense previ­ously noted that Iran had recently deployed military forces on Abu Musa, one of three islands in the Gulf claimed by both Iran and the United Arab Emir­ates (UAE).

Over the years, these three islands have assumed much greater significance than their relatively small size would in­dicate, and they have catalyzed contro­versy and disputes in the Gulf.


Annan warns against conflict with Iran

March 20,2008
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Thursday that military action against Iran would be "a real disaster" and said the Middle East could explode if the international community doesn't handle the many conflicts in the region very carefully.

At a wide-ranging round-table with journalists, Annan said he didn't have enough information to comment on the justification for the U.N. Security Council's demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment until it allays suspicions its nuclear program is trying to produce weapons.

Tehran insists the program is peaceful, aimed only at using nuclear power to generate electricity. Annan said he had told Iranian leaders that "if indeed you have nothing to hide and you are not making a bomb and your intentions are pacific, open your doors, let the inspectors come, let them go anywhere — find a way of reassuring the world, not just the U.S."

Asked how the international community should deal with Iran, he said dialogue was the only way. (AP)

Is Mr Annan aware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is occupying, with the use of military forces, islands belonging to another country?

Is he aware that the PGCC (Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, i.e. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman) have been asking for more than a decade now that the islands of Abu Musa* and the two Tunbs be returned to the legitimate sovereignty of the UAE?

Is he aware that GCC foreign ministers repeatedly reiterated the right of the UAE to restore its three islands - Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa - occupied by Iran adding, at the end of every meeting, that 'the three islands are indivisible part of the UAE'?

They have time and time again urged Iran to positively respond to the efforts of the UAE and the international community to settle the issue through direct negotiations or through referring the case to the International Court of Justice.

At the 100th session of the GCC Ministerial Council in Jeddah (Sept.2006), UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan delivered a speech in which he reiterated, once again, the "hope that Iran will respond to the initiatives calling to end its occupation of the UAE's three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa and to pursue peaceful means to end the dispute based on international law or referring the issue to the International Court of Justice." (UAE-Interact)

Tehran's reply has always been the same:

Foreign Ministry spokesman: Three islands inseparable part of Iran

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini here on Sunday strongly refuted recent baseless allegations made by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) on the three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa and called them as an inseparable part of Iranian territory.

According to the Foreign Ministry Media Department, the spokesman said the claims on the three Iranian islands are baseless and interference in Iran's internal affairs.

He underlined that continuation of outdated policies run counters to new developments in the Persian Gulf region.

Hosseini also called on the PGCC members to revise their stands and correct them based on historical realities.

Hosseini also welcomed the PGCC's stands on the rights of countries to benefit from nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within NPT and international rules and regulations. (March 2, 2008-IRNA)

(Click to zoom)

If, as Mr Annan suggests, dialogue is the "only way" to deal with Iran, the dispute over the three islands of Abu Musa and the Tunbs in the Persian Gulf is the living proof that Iran is mocking international law and diplomacy. It is time for Iran to make a choice and stop fooling the international community and the UN; forcing Iran to abandon the islands is the ultimate resort, but if six peaceful Gulf States have failed for more than a decade to achieve justice and reinstate the islands to the UAE, maybe it is time for the Big Guys to make a move.

* Abu Musa gives Iran a base for projecting its power and influence south toward the PGCC. Situated at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, in the Persian Gulf, through which passes a fifth of the worlds oil supplies.
Abu Musa, which is only a few miles square, lies in the Persian Gulf about halfway between Iran and the UAE. However. Abu Musa is full of oil reserves, which fuel the economies of both Iran and the UAE.

This strategic position could allow a country to influence the Persian Gulf Valuable shipping lane. Abu Musa (called Abu Musa in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-ye Abu Musa in Persian by Iran) has a population of around 600 people, and is situated at the mouth of the narrows of the Strait of Hormuz.

Further Reading:

More on the history of Abu Musa and the two Tunbs: ‘Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs rightfully belong to UAE’ (UAE-Interact)

(IPS) Iran rejected categorically the (Persian) Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) for backing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) "unfounded" claims on three Persian Gulf islands Tehran says are "integral and indivisible parts" of its national territory but at the same time reiterated its "readiness" for holding "friendly talks" with the Sheikhdom. (link)

"UAE is in favour of peaceful settlement of disputes : Nakhira" (27/06/2002-UAE-Interact)
Khartoum - The UAE has underlined that peaceful dialogue and negotiations are the best way to settle differences between states. Speaking before the summit of foreign ministers of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), UAE Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf said the UAE hopes to find peaceful solution to the issue of its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, occupied by Iran. 'We hope that the recent visit made to Tehran by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the upcoming one to UAE by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, would produce positive steps in the direction towards resolving the islands issue either through direct negotiations or taking the case to the International Court of Justice,' Mohammed bin Nakhira Al Dhahiri said.

'Settlement of the case will also strengthen GCC-Iran relations and bolster regional peace, security and stability,' he added.

Abu Musa- Island Dispute Between Iran and UAE (
UAE Maps (link)

And also UAE Interact:13/12/2005



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