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UAE Calls on Iran to Take Islands Dispute to UN Court

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the UAE, addresses the general debate of the 66th session of the General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 26, 2011.

The United Arab Emirates has called on Iran to resolve a dispute over three islands by direct negotiations or by referring it to the U.N.'s International Court of Justice.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan told the U.N. General Assembly Monday that Iran is "occupying" three islands that are a part of the UAE's territory. He said Iran's actions toward the islands of Abu Musa, and Greater and Lesser Tunbs are a violation of international law.

Iran's envoy told the U.N. gathering that the three islands were under Iran’s sovereignty. He said Iran was ready to continue talks with the UAE to remove any "misunderstanding."

Iran and the UAE have disputed which country holds the islands for years.

Iran objected earlier this year to a UAE-hosted Muslim summit in the region. Tehran called the meeting "illegal" and claimed the UAE organized the meeting to discuss the three disputed islands.

Iranian media said Tehran agreed to attend only after the UAE said it would not discuss the islands' dispute.