|Iran Escalating Row on Islands |
Iran Escalating Row on Islands
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. -- April 1, 2001 (WAM) -- A major UAE Arabic daily today said that the recent summons of UAE Ambassador by the Iranian Foreign Ministry was a serious escalation of the row between the Islamic Republic and the UAE over the occupation of the latter's three islands.
The Sharjah-based "Al Khaleej" said that although Tehran said the summons was in protest of a memorandum on the three islands from the UAE foreign ministry, it is crystal clear that the step was in direct response to the final communique of the recent Arab summit in Amman, which showed strong support for the UAE's stand on its three occupied islands of Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunb, including its call for a peaceful but constructive dialogue, or referring the issue to the International Court of Justice, ICJ.
"It is clearly evident that Tehran is not prepared to listen to the sense of reason or logic, repeatedly called for by the UAE itself, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the successive Arab summits and the international community, which are all in support of the UAE," the paper said.
It added: "It is not a new negative reaction to see Iran escalating the row as the Islamic Republic had on several occasions rejected the UAE's overtures for peaceful resolution of the issue through a time-table dialogue or through the ICJ."
"Iran had intentionally frustrated the work of the Tripartite Committee, formed by the GCC Ministerial Council to find a peaceful mechanism for negotiations, by even thwarting the committee's efforts to visit Tehran, and the Islamic Republic had also closed its doors to all calls by the GCC and its senior officials, who are highly concerned about peace, security and stability in the region," the paper said.
The paper pointed out that once again, Iran is opting for escalation of the issue by using the same baseless rhetoric double standards, claiming that the three islands belong to Iran and that Iran's sovereignty over the three islands is an "eternal" one at a time when Tehran also claimed that it was ready for direct and unconditional dialogue to "clear the misunderstanding."
"It is unacceptable at both Arab and international levels to remain quiet on a stand like this by Iran. The three islands are occupied Arab islands. Arab leaders should therefore do everything possible to return those islands to the UAE," the paper said, adding that the Iranian escalation was a direct attack on the Arab summit, which Arab leaders should never allow to go unchecked or what the leaders agreed on in Amman would quickly lose its weight, meaning and significance," the paper concluded.