Iran rejects Arab-Russia statement regarding ownership of Gulf islands

(Xinhua) 13:29, December 23, 2023

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Friday rejected a joint Arab-Russia statement, saying it challenged Iran's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He made the remarks in a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reacting to a joint statement issued Thursday by several Arab states and Russia in Morocco, which questioned Iran's sovereignty over the three Gulf islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb, according to a statement published on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website.

In the statement, the participants in the 6th Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum supported peaceful solutions and initiatives to resolve what they called "the conflict on the three islands" through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice.

Amir-Abdollahian stressed that "the three islands are inseparable parts" of the Iranian territory, saying Iran "completely rejects" any claim by any side saying otherwise.

He pointed to the "positive and growing" relations between Tehran and Moscow, emphasizing that Tehran would never compromise with any party on its territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

The Russian foreign minister, for his part, described Moscow-Tehran relations as strategic, saying Russia had always respected Iran's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"This position of Moscow should never be doubted. When preparing the final statement of the Morocco forum, we explicitly considered respect for Iran's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Lavrov added.

Iran says the three islands have historically been part of the country, citing historical, legal, and geographical documents as proof, while the United Arab Emirates also claims the three islands and has long pressed for a negotiated solution. 

(Web editor: Chang Sha, Zhong Wenxing)


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