GCC Must Stop Interfering in Iran Affairs: Foreign Ministry

bahram qassemi

Iran says the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) must stop leveling groundless allegations against Tehran, saying such claims would not change the reality about the Islamic Republic’s sovereignty over its three islands in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the comments in reaction to the final declaration of the 37th annual summit of the GCC, comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, in the Bahraini capital of Manama.

“The islands of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa are an inseparable part of the Iranian territory. Repetition of baseless claims will have no impact on our country’s territorial integrity and its sovereignty over these islands,” Qassemi said.

“Instead of rehashing repeated and baseless accusations, the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council must stop interfering in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic, including efforts by certain members to create sectarian and religious strife,” he added.

The islands of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa have always been part of Iran historically, the proof of which can be found in and corroborated by countless historical, legal, and geographical documents in Iran and other parts of the world. However, the United Arab Emirates has repeatedly laid baseless claims to the islands.

Qassemi also dismissed as groundless claims by the GCC declaration about Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of regional countries.

“The policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on the principles of good neighborliness, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” he said.

In their declaration, the GCC states called on Iran to change its policies in the region, condemning what they described as Iran’s “interference” in the internal affairs of the council member states.

The Iranian spokesperson pointed to bogus claims made in a letter by 10 Arab countries to the UN General Assembly and said “it is regrettable that instead of using the capacity of regional and international circles and organizations to promote stability and security, these states are misusing such a position to create tension and weaken mutual relations.”

He said Iran reserves the right to “respond to these baseless remarks in international circles in line with legal rules and regulations.”

Qassemi further dismissed claims by the GCC states about Iran’s attempts to politicize the Hajj rituals and criticized Saudi Arabia for stonewalling the dispatch of Iranian pilgrims to Mecca last year.

He emphasized that Riyadh is conducting such moves for political gains.

The Iranian spokesman also rejected GCC’s unfounded claims about Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region, including Bahrain, and urged the council to heed the existing facts in Bahrain such as the suppression of its people and human rights violation and compel the tiny Persian Gulf country to pursue the path of national reconciliation.

Qassemi once again emphasized the necessity of establishing a Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear arms.