16/04/2012 – 6:57 p | Hits: 607
TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Bahraini political activist censured the UAE for its irrational reaction to the Iranian president’s recent visit to the Persian Gulf island of Abu Musa, while leaving its crucial border disputes with Saudi Arabia, and called on Abu Dhabi to find a solution to its territorial disputes with Riyadh instead of raising unfounded claims against Iran.
Speaking to FNA on Monday, member of the Bahrain Freedom Movement Saeed Shihabi pointed to the long time territorial disputes between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and added that “the UAE and Saudi Arabia are entangled in demarcation disputes over Al-Sheiba oil field in their border regions, but Riyadh is extracting the oil of the region” and shows no respect for the UAE claims.
“The Persian Gulf Arab states have various border disputes among themselves, and they had better have shown a reaction to the occupation of the Saudi islands of Tiran and Sanafir by the Zionist regime instead of waging a propaganda campaign against Iran,” the activist underscored.
He lashed out the Arab states for their inaction and silence about the decades-long occupation of Saudi Arabia’s Tiran and Sanafir islands, and noted, “Unfortunately, the out loud criticism of Iran is heard, while no voice is heard from Arabs for the liberation of Tiran and Sanafir islands from the Zionists’ gripe.”
Israeli forces have occupied the two islands since 1967 but most Saudi nationals are unaware of the issue and the Saudi monarch has never struggled to regain its territories.
The two islands are located on the Southern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, leading to the Red Sea. Tiran Island, which has an area of about 80 square kilometers, is located at the inflow of the Straits of Tiran. Sanafir Island, with an area of 33 square kilometers, also lies to the East of Tiran. The two islands were given to the former Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, for logistics use in the Six Day War of 1967 against Israeli forces. However, the islands have been occupied by Tel Aviv since Egypt’s defeat.
The Straits of Tiran, which has remained under the control of Tel Aviv, has strategic significance since it serves as Israel’s only direct access to the Red Sea.
The regional nations are surprised and rather confused as to why Saudi Arabia is so vigorously pursuing the UAE’s baseless claims on the three islands of the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa which are historically owned by Iran, while it has kept mum about its own Israeli-occupied islands.
After Ahmadinejad visited Abu Musa last week, the UAE recalled its ambassador from Tehran Saif Mohammed Abid al-Zaabi in protest at Ahmadinejad’s official trip to the Iranian island.
Then, the foreign ministers of the six-nation Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) decided to hold an emergency meeting in Doha on Tuesday to discuss the Iranian President’s visit to the Iranian island of Abu Musa.
International documents clearly show that the three islands of the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa which were historically owned by Iran, temporarily fell to British control in 1903. The islands were returned to Iran based on an agreement in 1971 before the UAE was born.
Iran has repeatedly declared that its ownership of the three islands is unquestionable.
Under international law, no state can defy any agreements, which came into being before its establishment.
Yet, the UAE continues to make territorial claims against the Islamic Republic despite historical evidence and international regulations.