Iran cannot waive the problem away, UAE Paper
WAM Abu Dhabi, April 19th, 2012 (WAM) -- If it is interested in settling the stand-off with the UAE over the three UAE islands it is occupying, Iran has three options before it: engage in bilateral discussions with the UAE with a view to settling the issue once and for all, agree to take it to the International Court of Justice or let the United Nations Security Council deal with it, commented "Gulf Today" in its editorial.
This was made clear by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) at Tuesday's meeting held in Doha by the GCC foreign ministers, who expressed their full support for all measures the UAE will take to restore its sovereignty over the three Iranian-occupied islands, Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa.
In an unmistakably provocative gesture, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, paid a high-profile visit to Abu Mousa this month, with the Iranian media describing it as a "domestic issue." UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed out on Monday that the Iranian occupation of the islands poses a threat to international security and peace as the islands are located in an area through which 40 per cent of the world's energy passes.
Sheikh Abdullah reaffirmed the UAE's seriousness to end the stand-off and called on Iran to "listen to the voice of reason." He warned that the repercussions of Iran's continued occupation of the islands, which it seized in 1971, "could not be contained by either the UAE or Iran in the future." The paper added: "Tehran has consistently stonewalled the UAE's efforts to work out a solution to the problem and end Iran's occupation of the islands. Publicly, Iranian leaders say that they are interested in settling the issue, but they take no practical action towards that objective. Nor do they agree to place the stand-off for international arbitration." Iran's behaviour is unfitting of a country which boasts of its civilisation and traditions.
The GCC said Ahmadinejad's visit was "not in line with the GCC policy of maintaining good neighbourly relations with Iran." The Arab Parliament called on Iran to respect the UAE's rights and sovereignty over the islands. The group has called on Iran to refrain from following the "policy of creating problems" with the Arabian Gulf countries.
The Arab League has repeatedly called on Tehran to co-operate with the UAE to solve the issue.
"None of these appeals and urgings has been met positively by Iran." "The status quo cannot be allowed to continue. Iran should realise that its behaviour as if no such problem exists will not make the stand-off disappear. The UAE is determined to regain its legitimate rights", the paper concluded.