The United Arab Emirates has implied that it is prepared to take its spat with Iran over three disputed islands to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, if the Islamic Republic does not agree to diplomatic negotiations.
“The UAE stands ready to risk its historic and legal facts and win or lose at the International Court of Justice,” the country’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash said in comments published by UAE state news agency WAM.
Responding to claims by Iran that it has facts to prove its ownership of the islands, Gargash said: “He who has such facts is supposed to accept international arbitration.”
“We are fed up with the record of foreign pressure which the Iranians keep parroting,” he said.
“We are following a long-patience policy,” he said. “We will remain neighbors forever despite our differences.”
Tensions over three tiny Gulf islands were heightened by Iran’s President’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to one of the islands, Abu Musa, earlier this month.
Both Iran and the Emirates claim territorial sovereignty over Abu Musa and two other islands in the southern Gulf.
During Ahmadinejad’s visit, he said that historical records proved “the Persian Gulf is Persian.”
He also said the key to lasting stability in the Gulf was regional cooperation.
“When it comes to the Persian Gulf, security is achieved only through the collective cooperation of all nations and governments,” he said, while lashing out at “foreign interference which only causes destruction and division.”