News

    Gulf Leaders Discuss UAE-Iran Island Dispute

    Foreign Ministers of the Arabian Gulf states participate in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting in Doha, April 17, 2012
    Foreign Ministers of the Arabian Gulf states participate in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting in Doha, April 17, 2012

    Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council held an emergency meeting in Doha Tuesday to discuss a territorial dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, which some believe could pose a threat to international security. The talks followed a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Abu Musa, a Persian Gulf island controlled by Iran, but also claimed by the UAE.

    Iranian state media said Mr. Ahmadinejad traveled to the disputed territory last week to deal with domestic issues.

    Abu Musa is one of three islands claimed by both Iran and the UAE that lie near the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic channel through which roughly one-fifth of the world’s oil supplies are shipped.

    Iran threatened to close the strait earlier this year in response to sanctions targeting its nuclear program. Analysts said if Iran were to carry out the threat, it would likely use troops stationed on Abu Musa.

    Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan called on Tehran to end its “occupation” of the islands, saying it is not likely the consequences could “be contained by either the UAE or Iran” if the discord carried on much longer.

    However, Iranian officials said their rule of the land is “not negotiable.”

    Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, professor of political science at the UAE University, expects Mr. Ahmadinejad’s stopover in Abu Musa to become a turning point in the confrontation.

    "I think the UAE now is going to change course. It used to follow a more diplomatic, a more quiet, more peaceful approach," Abdulla said. "From now on, I think all options are open for the UAE.”

    Iran has had control of the three islands since 1971, but recently agreed to negotiations with the UAE to resolve the dispute.

    Sheikh Abdullah says the Iranian president’s recent actions undermined the agreement and deepened the mistrust between Iran and its neighbors.

    Sunni Arab states in the Gulf have become increasingly weary of Shi’ite Iran and accuse the country of fomenting unrest in Bahrain to extend its influence in the region.

    Tehran denies the accusations, but has been highly critical of Bahrain’s crackdown on Shi’ite protesters, and even built a replica of the Pearl Roundabout monument on Abu Musa.  Destroyed by the government, the original monument has become a symbol of Bahrain’s opposition movement.

    In light of the escalating tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbors, David Roberts - deputy director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in Qatar - suggests other regional issues will quickly overshadow the UAE’s territorial dispute with Iran.

    “It’s in this argumentative accusatory context that we are talking about this and therefore, given that tensions are still quite high, I don’t see how there is enough space for a reasoned, measured discussion to take place,” Roberts said.

    Abdulla also doubts a resolution is on the horizon. “I expect the days to come are going to be a very difficult time for the UAE-Iran relationship and the UAE-GCC relationship and 2012 is not going to be an easy year for either of us here, he said.

    The UAE has urged Tehran to take the island dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: HUANG JUN
    April 19, 2012 8:58 PM
    The islands belong to Iran. China will help Iran to defend those islands with its mighty navy.

    by: Sina
    April 19, 2012 7:06 PM
    Please learn some geography! Are you talking about Mexican or Persian gulf?

    Persian Gulf foreva!

    by: Yasin
    April 18, 2012 5:14 PM
    you all I hope you want to be calm down , you should not judge other country we hope for making a obvious decision between Iran and UAE. they should make an agreement they can negotiate. they may use a peace talk. I don't agree to use violence despite that will be right but that makes worse.

    by: Michael
    April 17, 2012 11:02 PM
    The Arabs are acting childish. The dispute was settled long ago. Iran got the islands while the Arabs got Bahrain. And "the Gulf" is called the Persian Gulf. But our anti-Iranian Zionist media is manipulating people to engage in a confrontation with Iran.

    by: sharki
    April 17, 2012 8:54 PM
    The-twenty 1st century has downed upon the nation of the earth and most are striving to improve the lives of their people and yet it is the the Africa and by extension Med.East from Packestan to Iran to all Arab (and Muslim) countries that are griped by the whirlpool of poverty, ignorant, and terror and the their population unable to free them self from it. They have resort to busy themselves withe the silly issues and incorrect history from the "Book of hearsay".

    by: sharki
    April 17, 2012 8:39 PM
    Palestinian lands are taken and eventually they will be forced to live in a reservation as others have don it from US to Australia and Arabs and Iranian Governments are impudent to do any thing about it, The Minority groups are terrorized in Iran and The Arab countries by the governments of these countries, and they are unable to change the Evil ways. ......

    by: Maryam
    April 17, 2012 4:42 PM
    EXCUSE ME! The Emirati's build this useless Sand Castle at the courtesy of IRAN and the IRANIANS! They are pushing their worthless apartments and their worthless country to Iranians! WHO WOULD EVEN GO THERE! IRANIANS SHOULD EMBARGO THESE USELESS TURBINHEADS and let them starve to death. THESE ISLANDS BELONG TO IRAN. PERIOD! STOP TRAVELLING TO UAE, STOP BUYING APARTMENTS IN UAE! LONG LIVE IRAN And we hope and pray for COMMON SENSE, Peace and Harmony in the area!

    by: siavash
    April 17, 2012 10:29 AM
    it is persian gulf not gulf stupid google and flower arab

    by: siavash
    April 17, 2012 10:27 AM
    it is persian gulf not gulf stupid google and flower arab

    by: siavash
    April 17, 2012 10:27 AM
    it is persian gulf not gulf stupid google and flower arab
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora