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Iran will not allow violation of sovereignty over Persian Gulf islands: General

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

The commander of Iran's Armed Forces has said that Iran will not allow any country to infringe on its sovereignty over the three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

Iranian island of Abu Musa in Persian Gulf

Major General Ataollah Salehi made the remarks in response to UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan who said on April 11 that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the Iranian island of Abu Musa on the same day had been "a flagrant violation of the United Arab Emirates' sovereignty over its territory and a transgression of efforts to find a peaceful settlement to end Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands."

Speaking to the Persian service of the Mehr News agency, Salehi said that those who make such statements about the Iranian islands are provoked by the enemies and should reconsider their remarks.

"We will not allow anyone to question our country's territorial integrity," he stated.

UAE FM is in no position to comment on Iranian islands

Abu Musa island's residents welcoming President Ahmadinejad - April 2012

The commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, also said on Tuesday that the UAE foreign minister is in no position to comment on the three Persian Gulf islands that are under Iran's sovereignty.

"I, not as the commander of the Iranian Navy but as an Iranian national, say that they are not in a position to comment on the Islamic Republic of Iran's three islands," Sayyari told the Mehr.

The UAE recalled its ambassador to Tehran for consultations on April 11.

In addition, the Emirates news agency reported on April 16 that the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash had summoned the Iranian ambassador to Abu Dhabi to protest about Ahmadinejad's visit.

The UAE foreign minister met ambassadors representing UN Security Council member states in Abu Dhabi on April 15 to convey his country's protest to Ahmadinejad's visit.

Foreign ministers of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council member states held a special meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha on April 17 to discuss the dispute.

The UAE has repeatedly questioned Iran's sovereignty over the three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and urged Tehran to agree to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague or engage in direct negotiations.

Iran says its sovereignty over the islands is not negotiable but has called for talks with the UAE to clear up misunderstandings.

The UAE foreign minister also claimed on Monday that if the issue is left unresolved it "could jeopardize international security and peace."

Abu Musa Island to turn into 'model tourist resort'

The Iranian cabinet votes to turn the Abu Musa Island into a 'model tourist resort', the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) director announced on Tuesday.

Hassan Mousavi said the CHTHO plans to provide facilities to encourage tourists to visit the island.

Mousavi said Abu Musa is one of the most beautiful Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf which is expected to attract lots of Iranian and foreign tourists.

The CHTHO chief said the cabinet has also agreed to provide tourist facilities for Bandar Lengeh on the shores of the Persian Gulf.

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