Iran summons Swiss chargé d’affaires to protest ‘unfounded [P]GCC-US claims”

Iran's Foreign Ministry has summoned the chargé d'affaires of Switzerland, which represents Washington’s interests in Tehran, to protest "baseless claims" leveled by the United States and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council over the three Persian Gulf islands.

According to a Friday statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry, the Swiss chargé d’affaires was summoned on Thursday to express Iran’s “strong protest and condemnation” of a joint statement issued following the ministerial meeting of the United States and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in New York on Tuesday and the US acts of provocation.

The ministry reiterated Iran’s determination to “defend its territorial integrity, and protect its security and interests against any threats posed by the US government in connection with maritime security and commercial shipping.”

“Iran will take the necessary strategies in this regard and to secure its national interests,” it said.

Based on its wise approach to safeguard security and stability in the region, the statement added, Iran would never allow the US to plunder regional assets and resources through the continuation of its Iranophobia policy. The Swiss envoy assured that he would convey Iran’s message to American officials, it noted.

The US-GCC statement renewed their call for Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

It accused Iran of proliferating unmanned aerial vehicles and other dangerous weapons that pose a grave security threat to the region and called on Tehran to stop its activities in this regard.

Iranian officials have repeatedly warned that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, which are entirely meant for defense.

The US and GCC foreign ministers also reiterated their support for the United Arab Emirates’ call to reach a peaceful solution to the dispute over the three islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb in the Persian Gulf through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the rules of international law including the UN Charter.

The three Persian Gulf islands 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. However, the United Arab Emirates has repeatedly laid claim to the islands.

The three islands fell under British control in 1921 but on November 30, 1971, a day after British forces left the region and just two days before the UAE was to become an official federation, Iran’s sovereignty over the islands was restored.

Iran recognizes that Arabs ruled the islands for centuries, but all historical documents show that they did so from the Iranian port city of Lengheh and therefore as Iranian subjects.

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