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Majlis to Follow up UAE Decision on Island Construction

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, March 4 (ICANA)-A senior lawmaker has said the Iranian parliament (Majlis) will follow up a decision by the UAE to construct man-made islands in the Persian Gulf without the approval of other coastal states.
Friday, March 04, 2011 5:01:37 PM
Majlis to Follow up UAE Decision on Island Construction

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said the UAE measure was legally flawed and that his commission will pursue the case in the next Iranian calendar year (to start March 21).

Speaking to ICANA, Boroujerdi said the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission had met to discuss the controversial issue. He added that the legal department of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also responsible to probe into the UAE move.

Asked why UAE would take such a measure, Boroujerdi noted that the move aimed to expand UAE’s geographical expanse. “Due to small geographical span, the UAE is seeking to produce land and make up for the shortage by using other states’ lands.”

Meanwhile, a top Iranian military official described the UAE measure “illegal.”

Brigadier General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, senior military adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said: “The UAE has breached international law” requiring any coastal country to inform other littoral states of any decision to construct artificial islands and get their approval before they start to do so.

He pointed out that the construction of man-made islands by the UAE will reduce by ten kilometers the distance between the UAE and the Iranian island of Abu Musa and thus could change the water borders in the Persian Gulf.

Through constructing such islands, the UAE seeks to pursue the expansion of its territorial waters and to gain support of extra-regional powers in its claim, Safavi noted.

The Iranian commander also warned that the construction of such islands will disturb the balance of the regional the ecosystem. He also warned Iran could impose trade restrictions on UAE that in order to prevent the construction of islands.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the construction of such islands could have security as well as ecological consequences for the region.

He further called for cooperation between the Persian Gulf littoral states in order to prevent any security or ecological problem.

This comes as the UAE has repeatedly laid claims to three Persian Gulf islands of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.

The three islands in question 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.

The islands temporarily fell under British control in the 1800s but were returned to Iran on November 30, 1971 through a legal procedure that preceded the establishment of the United Arab Emirates as a state.

Iran has repeatedly announced readiness to hold direct talks with UAE officials regarding the misunderstandings over the implementation of the 1971 Memorandum of Understanding.

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