Manama, Bahrain
Manama, BahrainiStock

Iran’s political discourse on the three occupied UAE islands (Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa) is a never ending drama with nothing new in it. It merely hides behind a rigid position that cannot lead to any positive solution on this issue.

Recently, Iran’s representative to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, made a remark in the session of the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly regarding the talks between the representatives of the UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain on the issue of the three Emirates islands occupied by Iran, reiterating the position of the current mullah regime that “does not recognize” what it claims as a “dispute” between the UAE and Iran.

Reducing the issue of occupation of territories of a neighboring state to the concept of “disagreement” is the worst form of occupation, unless it has a legal basis which is not the case here.

The behavior of the occupier in this case goes beyond violating the sovereignty of another state and occupying part of its territory by trying to deny its crime and calling it merely a “dispute” in order to reframe the crisis and put it in a different conceptual context - kind of a deception and twisting of historical facts without any basis for doing so..

The mullahs’ regime is aware that the issue of the three emirates is a national issue that is a top foreign policy priority for the country. It is also aware that the issue is ingrained deeply in the UAE collective consciousness. It is naive to think that the state of denial and falsification that the mullahs are trying to create could push the case into oblivion.

Issues of occupation do not age, do not go down in the concerns of society, and do not lose priority over other national issues, however important they may be. This is a fact of life, one of the realities of history and of the experiences of the recent and more distant past. The regime of Iranian mullahs keeps repeating its false talk of good neighborliness and desire for regional cooperation.

But its behavior on the ground stands in stark contrast to this claptrap. Since the Khomeini Revolution of 1979, this regime has not moved to respond to UAE efforts to resolve this issue peacefully under several options the UAE has, and continues to, put forward, whether through direct dialogue or international mediation.

In their repeated statements, the mullahs declare that “the three Iranian islands are an integral part of the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore all claims contradicting this fact are rejected in full and in detail.” The UAE’s calm political position, which treats this issue with much rationality and wisdom, quietly invites it to submit the evidence of its claims to sovereignty over the three islands to an international arbitration court for a final decision.

That is the best formula for resolving disputes in a civilized manner. But the arrogance that powers the mullahs’ position prevents them from considering these proposals because they simply have no legal support or historical evidence to support their case for international arbitration.

Iran has recently quite ironically stated at the UN that it considers the UAE’s claim to sovereignty over the three occupied islands to be “baseless and an interference in Iranian affairs as well as a violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states enshrined in the UN Charter.”

The mullahs believe that the international community, which follows the mullahs’ interference in the affairs of neighboring countries on a daily basis, would believe that the UAE can be an “aggressor party” or interfere in Iran’s internal affairs through such hogwash. The whole world knows the course and development of events in our region.

It also knows that the mullahs’ regime is the most dangerous actor in the chaos and unrest in the Middle East. And more importantly, the mullahs are fully aware that their bogus depictions of events and problems aren’t fooling anyone. But they keep repeating and spreading them anyway.

They go on with the game of misrepresentation and stalling, both in this case and in other crises they have provoked with the international community.

But the new thing in the political discourse of Ibrahim Raisi’s government is that the grandstanding got to where the Iranian representative asked the UAE to “abide by the norms of good neighborliness and respect for international law,” in a clear and deliberate bid to muddy the waters.

To the chagrin of this delegate, the whole world knows that the UAE plays a key role in development, security, stability and the search for peace in the Middle East. The role of the Mullah regime, however, is one of spreading chaos, from arming militias to attempts to acquire nuclear weapons that threaten world peace and security.

Dr. Salem AlKetbi is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate