Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov leaves with his counterparts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states and the GCC secretary general after posing for a family photo prior to their meeting in Moscow on July 10, 2023. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/Pool via REUTERS

 – Iran will not negotiate over three Persian Gulf islands disputed with the United Arab Emirates, the legal adviser to Iran‘s president said on Wednesday following Tehran’s summoning of the Russian ambassador over statement about the islands.

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

On Monday, Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 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 islands through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice.

“Examining all past documents shows that these islands belong to Iran and cannot be disputed,” said the Legal Advisor Mohammad Dehghan.

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

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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