Monday, May 20, 2024

Iran says formally protested Russia’s stance on 3 Persian Gulf islands

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani says that Tehran has formally protested to Moscow about its recent joint statement with the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) regarding three Iranian islands.

Speaking to reporters at a weekly press conference on Monday, Kanaani dismissed the contents of the joint statement issued after the sixth ministerial meeting of strategic dialogue between Russia and the PGCC.

“Respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries is a recognized principle in international law. Tehran considers the observance of this principle regarding Iran’s territorial integrity by all parties as an imperative principle and will show a serious and proportional reaction to its violation,” the spokesman underlined.

He reiterated that Iran’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb islands are never subject to negotiations, stressing that Tehran rejects any interference by any party in this regard.

“Iran’s stance on this issue has been transparent. Iran has formally protested to the Russian government,” Kanaani underscored.

Last week, the Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected the issues raised in the joint statement of the PGCC and Russia.

“These islands belong to Iran eternally and issuing such statements runs counter to the friendly relations between Iran and the neighbors,” the ministry announced.

The islands of the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa have historically been part of Iran, proof of which can be found and corroborated by countless historical, legal, and geographical documents in Iran and other parts of the world.

Elsewhere, Kanaani urged the United States to refrain from any “provocative” moves in the region, especially close to the country’s borders, stressing that Tehran reserves the right to take “deterrent measures” under international law.

He stated that the US government’s role regarding the issue of regional security has never been peaceful and constructive.

“Iran monitors with sensitivity and accuracy any illegal and unconstructive act that affects the security of the region, and it will … pay special attention to any provocative and illegal moves, especially near its borders,” he added.

The official also warned that the Islamic Republic will use its “inalienable rights” in response to the US moves.

Iran “reserves the right to take due deterrent measures under international law, rules and regulations given the capability of its Armed Forces in protecting the security of borders, as well as that of navigation and aviation in the Persian Gulf region,” the spokesman stressed.

On Friday, a senior American defense official said the US will send F-16 fighter jets to the Persian Gulf region this weekend in a bid to “protect ships” from “Iranian seizures.”

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that the F-16s will give air cover to the ships moving through the strategic Strait of Hormuz and increase the US military’s visibility in the area.

In recent months, Iranian naval forces have impounded several ships off the country’s southern coast for their breaches of shipping safety law, with the US claiming that the moves are “illegal” and “endanger” shipping safety.

Tehran dismisses the claims as baseless, stressing the vessel seizures are in fact meant to consolidate the maritime law.

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