Iran recalls ambassador to Iraq

May 8, 2008 at 2:49 PM

TEHRAN, May 8 (UPI) -- Iran recalled its ambassador to Iraq in protest of Baghdad's support for a move by the United Arab Emirates to take ownership of three Persian Gulf islands.

The Emirates News Agency, WAM, said April 28 that the Iraqi government expressed "unconditional support" for the Emirates' sovereignty over the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa islands, which lie at a key access point to the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran claimed control over the islands following the departure of British forces in 1971. UAE officials say Iran is an illegal occupier of the islands.

The official Emirates news agency said "Iraq supports all procedures" for the UAE to reclaim the islands.

Iran summoned Ambassador Majid al-Shaikh to Tehran in protest, The Tehran Times said.

"The Iraqi government was also asked to correct its position," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said.

Iran plans to take the matter to the international court at The Hague.

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