Running Head: THE ROLE OF UAE’S DIPLOMACY TOWARDS ENDING THE IRANIAN OCCUPATION OF THE THREE ISLANDSThe Role of UAE’s Diplomacy towards Ending the Iranian Occupation of the Three IslandsNameInstitutionDateIntroductionThe government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sought, with significant success, to consolidate global support for its continuing diplomatic attempts to resolve Iranian occupation of the three islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb. Whilst the UAE, like other state member of the Arabian Gulf Countries Council (AGCC), seeks to create bilateral political and economic connections with Iran, there is a clearly agreed and defined policy, both at the AGCC and in UAE level that such development will not occur at the expense of UAE’s sovereignty over these islands.
When Iran forcibly grabbed the three islands in 1971, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Sharjah and Iran, to allow both parties to administer a portion of the Abu Musa Island, with no prejudice of their ongoing assertions of sovereignty. However, Iran has continuously breached the terms of memorandum of understanding by hindering free access, establishing military installations and putting military equipments on the island. The role of the UAE’s diplomacy towards ending the Iranian occupation of the three islandsThe Principal goals of UAE’s foreign policy towards IranThe UAE foreign policy is based on a belief in the requirement for justice in international issues amid states, entailing the need of adhering to opinion of non interference in internal affairs of other nations and the pursuit, where possible, of diplomatic resolutions of disagreements, along with a support for global institutions, like the United Nations.
According to Long, (2003), the UAE government has consistently reiterated its right to sovereignty of the three islands, protesting the military occupation and the subsequent fortification of the Grater and Lesser Tunbs and at breach of the terms of memorandum of understanding on the Abu Musa Island by Iran.
Also, whilst continuing to claim its control over the islands, the UAE foreign policy goal is to seek and find a remedy to the Iran occupation. It has sought to facilitate cooperation and to solve disagreement of the occupation and sovereignty of the three islands through dialogue. The goal of the foreign policy has suggested the two parties to take part in direct bilateral discussions on resolution of the issues arising form Iranian occupation of the three islands, entailing both appropriate implementation of terms of the memorandum of understanding on the Abu Musa and the question of sovereignty.
The UAE has not set any preconditions on the offer to carry out such discussions and has only stated the need to lay down a fixed time frame for their conclusion. The second goal of the UAE foreign policy toward Iran occupation of the three Islands is the issue of autonomy to be presented before the international adjudication or be referred to the international court of justice at The Hague.
The UAE has agreed to accept the ruling made by the court (Alkim, 2000). The Iran government has agreed to go into bilateral discussions and has also said that this will happen without any preconditions. However, the Iranian officials have refuted to discuss the issue of sovereignty over the islands, and have referred only to the necessity to resolve misunderstandings.
Iranian statements have reiterated the claim to sovereignty over these islands, and refused to go into any discussion with relation to Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb. Whilst in the notion of the UAE government, its assertion over the islands is wholly justified, it is ready to permit the matter to be settled via bilateral discussion, by the international court of justice or via international arbitration, and is prepared to present documentation to be assessed in the framework of international law( Parveen, 2006). The defense policy of the United Arab EmiratesThe United Arab Emirates has based its defense policy over the Iran occupation of the three islands on its membership of the Arabian Gulf countries council and has also maintained friendly and close relations with other countries concerned with maintenance of stability and security of the Arabian Gulf.
The UAE have signed defense agreements with France and the United States. The Gulf cooperation council has reiterated the right of the UAE to regain sovereignty over its islands inhabited by Iran. It has also expressed regret at the failure to reach optimistic results with the bordering Islamic Republic.
The supreme council of gulf cooperation council has called upon Iran to positively respond to resolve the matter via direct negotiation or through resorting to international court of justice (Hellyer, & Abed, 2001). The significant geo- political issues were featured in 31st summit of the supreme council of gulf cooperation council. They censured the continued occupation of the UAE islands and demanded the return of the islands under its complete sovereignty, entailing their regional waters, continental shelf, airspace and their exclusive economic zone, as fundamental parts of United Arab Emirates.
The gulf cooperation council called on the global community to advocate for Iran to act in response to the sincere and peaceful initiatives of UAE, which call for a just resolution of this matter, either via serious and direct negotiations amid the two nations of through referring the matter to international court of justice to resolve this dispute in accord with the codes of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the international law (Kostiner, 2009). TAE’s steps to move the issue of the occupies islands to the world media The Trans Asia- Europe feels that Iran is blocking delivery of help to United Arab Emirates islands which are under occupation of Iran.
TAE want Emiratis to think in a different manner to support its citizens on the Abu Musa Island which is occupied by Iran because are hundreds of families occupying this island, but Iran prevents contact with them and hinders them from communicating with their motherland. It is almost not possible to deliver construction materials and other needs to them such as doctors, medical personnel and teachers because Iran prevents the UAE to do so.
The TAE asserts that the media is not shedding light on situation of the United Arab Emirates families under occupation by Iran and is now taking steps to take the issue of occupied islands to the world media. Amirahmadi (2003) argues that Iran has also published several articles concerning the veracity and historicity of Persian Gulf name and legality of the Iran’s ownership of the three Persian Gulf islands of Greater Tunb, Abu Musa and Lesser Tunb.
It has also delivered numerous global speeches in which it has scientifically disclaimed the territorial assertions of the UAE government on the Iranian islands and confronted psychological operation of the United States backed Arab monarchies in the Middle East in distorting historical name of Persian Gulf. Trans Asia-Europe is making efforts to spur the global family including the United Nations Security Council and major world parties and powers to conflict in Middle East and revive peace negotiations on basis of land for peace formula and Middle East peace road map. World powers such as Brazil and the union of South American nations support the UAE on the issue three island occupied by Iran since 1971.
They favor a peaceful resolution to the occupied islands issue via negotiations and diplomacy between the two nations or by referring the matter to the international court of justice (Ahmadi, 2008). The nations are also interested in seeing good relations between UAE and Iran and urge them to reach a peaceful and just solution to the matter of the three islands via negotiations and diplomacy. When British forces withdrew forces from the Gulf, UAE and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding, which UAE claims doesn’t give Iran the right to sovereignty of the islands which are close to strategic Strait of Hormuz. The role of Federal national Council (FNC) regarding the island’s issue As the UAE’s legislature, the federal national council asserts that UAE has the right to ownership of the three islands and has expressed its support to any action that UAE will take to reinstate its sovereignty of the islands.
FNC affirms that the three islands have usually belonged and will usually belong to the UAE.
According to FNC, the international law evidently states that sovereignty can’t be attained by invasion, coercion or military force. In the case of the Lesser and Greater Tunb, the Iranian attack 1971 where numerous Ras al-Khaimah policemen were murdered, is an issue of historical fact. On the issue of memorandum of understanding on Abu Musa Island, the Sharjah government particularly reserved its rights to sovereignty (Joyner, 2003). According to Federal Research division ( 2004), apart from the reality that the memorandum of understanding solely under an invasion threat, amounting to coercion, it has consequently been breached consistently and substantially in such a manner as to illustrate that the Iran government do not have intentions to abide to its terms.
FNC also asserts that there is a lot of historical documentation which supports UAE’s claim to sovereignty over the three islands. Although the control of the islands had been interrupted in short durations in the 17th and 18th centuries the islands have been controlled by Arab leaders since 1330.From mid 18 century, the islands were controlled by Al Qawasim dynasty which today offers Sheikhs of Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah.
Additionally, the Al Qawasim state included much of northern UAE together with the three islands but also extended along southern coast of Iran. The treaties signed with British in the early 19th century acknowledged that Al Qasimi territories extended to both sides of Arabia gulf and illustrated an acknowledgement of their autonomy under established international law (Potter, & Sick, 2005). Conclusion The United Arab Emirates is highly determined to end Iranian occupation of the three islands.
UAE is not withstanding the illegal Iranian occupation on the islands and is eager to pursue any peaceful move that may result to resolution of this issue. Therefore, UAE has encouraged Iran to engage in direct bilateral negotiations to resolve the issue, including suitable implementation of the memorandum of understanding on Abu Musa and the question of sovereignty. UAE has also made attempts for the island’s issue to be taken before international arbitration or referred to the international court of justice with the hope that a just ruling will be reached. ReferencesAlkim, H., (2000).
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Small islands, big politics: The Tunbs and Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Kostiner, J., (2009). Conflict and cooperation in the Gulf region. England: VS Verlag. Potter, L., & Sick, G., (2005). The Persian Gulf at the millennium: essays in politics, economy and security. Bangistoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Long, D., (2003). Gulf security in the Twenty-First Century. New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers.