Iran Summons Russian Envoy Over Islands Dispute

Iran Summons Russian Envoy Over Disputed Islands

Iran has summoned the Russian envoy to Tehran for the second time, protesting Moscow’s joint statement with Arab nations calling for negotiations over three disputed islands. The United Arab Emirates claims these islands as its own, leading to escalating tensions in the region.

The Issue at Hand
The state-run IRNA news website reported that the Russian envoy was summoned to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to receive Tehran’s “strong protest” over the joint statement. At the Foreign Ministry, the Russian envoy was reminded that respecting the territorial integrity of nations is a fundamental principle in international relations. Iran asserts that the three disputed islands, namely the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, have always belonged to Iran and any external claims are deemed unacceptable.

Background and Dispute
The islands in the strategic Strait of Hormuz have been under Iran’s governance since 1971, following the withdrawal of British troops. However, the UAE also claims sovereignty over these islands and has garnered increasing support from Russia and China, both of which are considered allies by Tehran.

The recent joint statement by Russia, signed during the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Morocco, advocated for peaceful solutions and bilateral negotiations or resorting to the International Court of Justice based on international law and the UN Charter. This stance was met with condemnation by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, and was the subject of discussion between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

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Iranian Response
Iranian lawmakers, including Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the parliament speaker, took to social media to emphasize that Iran’s territorial integrity is non-negotiable. Ghalibaf emphasized the importance of mutual respect in international relations and warned of a serious response to any threats to Iran’s territorial integrity. He further highlighted Iran’s efforts to develop and populate the islands and pledged legal backing from the parliament for these initiatives.

International Ramifications
The joint statement not only generated tensions between Iran and Russia but also sparked debate among Iranian lawmakers regarding the appropriate stance towards both Moscow and Abu Dhabi. Some lawmakers suggested a change in approach towards the UAE, reflecting the complexities of the geopolitical landscape in the region.

Looking Ahead
The ongoing dispute over the islands underscores the delicate balance of power in the Middle East and serves as a test for international relations between the involved nations. As tensions continue to simmer, the possibility of negotiations and diplomatic exchanges remains on the table.

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