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Iran, Gulf states dispute over islands

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Laaska News Apr.19, 2012

Tensions are mounting between Iran and the Gulf Arab countries over 3 disputed islands near the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week visited one of the islands, Abu Musa. Iran has effectively controlled the islands since 1971, when 7 Gulf emirates gained full independence from Britain and formed the United Arab Emirates.

On Tuesday, the foreign ministers of the 6-member Gulf Cooperation Council met in Doha, Qatar, at the request of the UAE.

They issued a statement condemning Ahmadinejad’s visit as a violation of the UAE’s sovereignty over the islands.

On Wednesday, Iran’s foreign ministry said that the statement by the Council is groundless and interferes in Iran’s internal affairs.

Iran’s parliament also issued a document condemning the Gulf countries’ latest moves.

The pro-US Gulf countries are already at odds with Iran over its nuclear program. The latest row over the islands appears to be fueling tensions.