TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran has protested to Baghdad over reports that Iraq had backed the United Arab Emirates’ baseless claims on Iran’s indispensible islands of the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
“The Iraqi ambassador (Mohammed Majid Abbas al-Sheikh) was invited (to the foreign ministry) and was notified of Iran’s protest,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said.
“The Iraqi government was also asked to correct its position,” he said.
The official UAE agency WAM reported on April 28 that in a memorandum sent to UAE foreign ministry, the Iraqi government asserted “its unconditional support to the sovereignty of UAE” over the three Iranian islands.
“It also said that Iraq supports all procedures and peaceful means UAE will adopt to reclaim the three islands, and rejects any action from Iran to bolster the occupation,” the agency reported.
Iran has rejected claims by the UAE, which insists the islands in strategic Persian Gulf waters are occupied by Iran. Tehran has also ruled out taking the issue before the international court in The Hague, stressing that the three islands are everlastingly Iranian territory.
Despite their differences over the islands, the two states have close ties, with Iran being the UAE’s top trading partner. Iranians also form a sizable diaspora community in Dubai.
Since the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iran has enjoyed warm ties with its western neighbor, which imposed a bloody war on Iran from 1980 to 1988.