Emirates vents over Persian Gulf islands

Sept. 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The Emirati government called on the international community to pressure Iran to settle issues related to disputed islands in the Persian Gulf.

Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, foreign minister for the United Arab Emirates, told the U.N. General Assembly during its annual meeting his country had sovereignty over Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, three islands in the Persian Gulf.

The Gulf Cooperation Council in 2010 ruled the United Arab Emirates has ownership of the islands near important shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran, which isn't a GCC member, denied any wrongdoing in its claims to the tiny Persian Gulf islands.

Nahyan said his government regrets the "continued Iranian occupation."

"We, therefore, call upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the repeated peaceful, sincere calls of the United Arab Emirates for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice," he said in his Saturday address.

Iran seized the islands in the 1970s.

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