DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran has summoned Russia's charge d'affaires after Moscow and Arab countries issued a joint statement earlier this week challenging Iran's claim to disputed islands in the Persian Gulf, state media reported Sunday.
The official Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency said that the Russian envoy was summoned on Saturday and handed over a memorandum to be delivered to Moscow in which Tehran protested the statement issued by the Sixth Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum in Morocco, which called for a peaceful solution to the conflict between Iran and Iran. The United Arab Emirates on the islands.
Earlier on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told his Russian counterpart by phone that “respect for the sovereignty and integrity of countries is among the basic principles in relations between countries,” the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said in a separate report.
Distinguish this Second time this year Iran had summoned a Russian envoy to protest its statements regarding the disputed islands. Tehran summoned the Russian ambassador in July over a similar statement.
The diplomatic spat is a rare event between the two countries, which have deepened their ties since Moscow invaded Ukraine, with Iran supplying Russia with lethal drones that have been used to devastating effect there. Both countries have also been strong supporters of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
In 2022, Iran summoned China's envoy over a similar joint statement with Arab countries.
Iran took control of the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb after the withdrawal of British forces in 1971. It considers them an “integral” part of its territory. The UAE also claims the three islands and has long pushed for a negotiated solution.
The three islands dominate the route leading to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a major waterway through which about a fifth of the world's oil supplies pass.
Iran says the islands were part of the Persian states from ancient times until their occupation by the British in the early 20th century. It also says the agreement reached with Sharjah, one of the seven emirates in the UAE, gives it the right to administer Abu Musa and deploy troops there.
There is no such agreement on the other two islands. The UAE says that they were affiliated with the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah until Iran seized them by force days before the formation of the UAE Federation.
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