DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran summoned the Russian ambassador on Wednesday over a joint statement by Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council about three islands disputed by the United Arab Emirates, according to Iranian state media.

On Monday, Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a joint statement in which foreign ministers expressed their support for a UAE initiative to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the statement as contrary to friendly relations between Iran and its neighbours, adding “the three islands belong to Iran forever”.

The islands, Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, are claimed by both countries but have been held by Iran since 1971, shortly before the seven Gulf emirates gained full independence from Britain and formed the UAE, now allied with Washington.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Brought to you by