Occupied UAE Islands

Driven by our beliefs in dispute solving among countries, we, again, call on Iran to show its good will and enter direct and peaceful negotiations to settle the issue of our occupied islands, or agree to relate the case as a whole to the International Court of Justice, expressing our readiness to accept the ruling regardless of the results."

H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has consistently and forcefully protested Iran’s illegal occupation of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs from the moment Iranian military forces occupied the three islands on 30 November 1971, just two days before the establishment of the UAE and throughout the following decades.

The UAE first took this matter to the United Nations Security Council on 9 December 1971 because of Iran’s infringement of the sovereignty of the UAE and its violation of the UN Charter. At that time, the Security Council deferred action to allow the parties an opportunity to negotiate.  Since then, the UAE government has consistently sought a diplomatic resolution to this matter, calling to resolve the dispute through direct, meaningful negotiations or arbitration, or to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution in accordance with international law.  

Over forty years after the initial invasion, the UAE still holds out its offer to Iran to resolve this dispute via one of the three options listed above; unfortunately, Iran has rejected such suggestions, and continues to refuse to discuss sovereignty over any of the islands.

Unofficial map. For illustrative purposes only 

Unofficial map. For illustrative purposes only

Support for the UAE

“The United States reiterates its support for a peaceful resolution between the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb islands. The United States appreciates the UAE’s efforts in this regard and urges Iran to respond positively to the UAE’s initiative to resolve the issue through direct negotiations, the International Court of Justice or another appropriate international forum. Actions such as the April 11 visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the Abu Musa Island only complicate efforts to settle the issue.” 

Mark Toner, spokesperson, US State Department  Press Statement

UAE-Iran Island Dispute, April 17, 2012

 

President Barack Obama and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a joint statement, which called for a “peaceful resolution of the islands' status, regarding which the United States strongly supports the UAE's initiative to resolve the issue through direct negotiations, the International Court of Justice, or another appropriate international forum.”

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Joint Statement by the United States and the United Arab Emirates, June 27, 2012

 

“…the United Kingdom supports a peaceful settlement to the dispute between the UAE and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb islands acceptable to both parties, in accordance with international law, either through direct negotiations or by referring the matter to the International Court of Justice.  The UK values the measured approach taken by the UAE over this issue.”

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office statement, April 19, 2012

 

“…the United States strongly supports the UAE's initiative to resolve the issue through direct negotiations, the International Court of Justice, or another appropriate international forum.”

US State Department Press Statement