Iran should stop provocative gestures, cautions UAE paper

WAM Abu Dhabi, Feb 09th, 2013 (WAM)–The three islands of Abu Mousa, Greater and Lesser Tunb are an integral part of the UAE and it is wrong that Iran continues to claim them and has occupied them since 1971.

The UAE has gone well beyond what might be expected of any nation by refusing to escalate this issue and by insisting that a peaceful resolution is possible if Tehran accepts international arbitration.

“Given the UAE’s extraordinary record of seeking peaceful diplomacy on this vital issue, it is very disappointing that members of the Iranian Shura Council’s committee on National and Foreign Policy plan to visit the three islands on what they have called an inspection tour, opined local English language daily, Gulf News, in its editorial on Saturday.

It added that this was correctly condemned by the UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC) as “a flagrant violation of the UAE’s sovereignty over its territories and a setback to all efforts made by the UAE to put an end to the occupation of the three UAE islands”.

The paper underscored that it is dangerous that internal tension in Iran is fuelling Iranian nationalism, as politicians prepare for presidential elections in June. The complete economic failure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government has forced him to seek popular support by creating unnecessary international crises. Iran’s dispute with the international community over its nuclear programme could have been solved years ago if Iran had offered full transparency and proved that its nuclear programme was peaceful. It did not want to do that.

“Iran could have ended the dispute with the UAE over the islands if it had either dropped its spurious claim invented by a previous regime under the Shah, or accepted worldwide principles of equity and gone for arbitration in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Ahmadinejad does not want to solve either problem. He wants to inflame national sentiment as he desperately seeks the support of the people,:” it added.

The paper concluded it is important the UAE continues to insist that a peaceful resolution is possible and that Iran must submit its claim to the ICJ. In addition, Iran should stop making provocative gestures like this planned visit of its politicians.