This is the second time that the Russian envoy to Tehran has been summoned regarding the same issue.
Tehran, Iran – Iran once again summoned the Russian envoy to Tehran after Moscow signed another joint statement with Arab countries calling for negotiations on three disputed islands that the UAE claims belong to it.
The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) website reported late Saturday that the Russian envoy had been summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry to receive Tehran's “strong protest” over the statement.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian envoy was told that respect for the territorial integrity of countries is a basic principle in relations between any two countries. IRNA also said the official was told that the three disputed islands “belong to Iran forever,” making any external claims unacceptable.
The islands located in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which are Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, have been under Iranian control since 1971, when its naval forces took control of them after the withdrawal of British forces from what is known today as the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE also claims it as part of its territory, and has recently received increasing support from Russia and China, which Tehran also counts among its allies.
Iran had summoned the Chinese envoy to Tehran over a similar joint statement with Arab countries in the region in December 2022, and it also summoned the Russian ambassador in July over an almost identical joint statement.
The Russian joint statement this week, which was signed during the sixth session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Morocco, supported “peaceful solutions and initiatives aimed at resolving the conflict through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.” “.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani condemned it earlier this week, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian raised the issue with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who led the delegation to Morocco.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov told Amir Abdollahian that Russia always respects Iran's territorial integrity and that “this official policy of Moscow should never be in doubt.”
Maybe Russia should talk to Japan?
The joint statement also angered some Iranian lawmakers, who took to social media to try to make clear that the issue is non-negotiable.
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, the speaker of Iran's parliament, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that increasingly warm relations with Russia depend on mutual respect and any claims threatening Iran's territorial integrity would be met with a “serious response.”
“Russia must be careful about the West exploiting its mistakes,” he wrote.
Qalibaf also pointed out that Iran did not stand idly by on the islands, but rather made a variety of efforts to reconstruct and develop them. He promised that Parliament would legally support efforts to develop the islands.
Other lawmakers had harsher words for both Moscow and Abu Dhabi.
“It seems that the language of kindness must change, at least with the UAE,” Hadi Beiji Nejad wrote on X.
The other MP, Ebrahim Rezaei, said, “If they propose negotiations, we also call on the Russians to negotiate with Japan over the Kuril Islands,” referring to the dispute over four islands between Russia and Japan.
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