Iran to Annex Persian Gulf Islands, Key to Locking Strait of Hormuz
A law enacting Iran’s annexation of the Persian Gulf islands claimed by the United Arab Emirates is on its way through the Majlis this week. It will lay the ground for the next step: declaring the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world’s oil is transported, Iranian territorial water, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports.
Wednesday, April 25, officials at the Council of Gulf Cooperation-GCC condemned the Iranian grab for the UAE-owned islands of Abu Mousa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb as a threat to international security warranting a complaint to the UN Security Council.
Referring to Tehran’s plan for establishing a new Iranian province on the three islands, Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the Gulf bloc said: "The GCC position is clear: No Iranian decision can change the historical and legal reality of the Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunb islands. These islands are Emirati. We hope the solution will be a peaceful one, but Iranian procedures and provocations could threaten international security and peace."
According to our Iranian sources, Tehran’s latest provocation aims to generate a fresh regional crisis as a distraction from the international efforts to curtail its nuclear program and a smoke screen for its secret negotiations with US and an outcome which may bind the Iranian regime to key nuclear concessions.
The regime has already militarized Abu Musa, constructing an airstrip and deploying missile batteries there.
Iranian lawmakers are pushing for the measure to incorporate the three disputed islands as a new Iranian Persian Gulf administrative province with Abu Musa its provincial capital.
Tehran is allowed to grab three islands and shake the Bahraini throne
Tehran means to use their annexation to support the spurious claim that the three islands form an Iranian archipelago within the Hormuz Strait which is therefore Iranian territorial water.
Tehran is flexing its muscles for a confrontation over the islands.
Since seizing control of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb from the UAE in 1971, Iran has angrily rejected all rival claims to their sovereignty, while periodically using its illegal occupation to threaten passage through the international Hormuz waterway.
Iranian military facilities on Abu Musa and strengthened grip on the three islands directly impinge on American interests in the Persian Gulf. Yet, the Obama administration remains reluctant to support the GCC-backed UAE claim for their recovery.
This same US attitude of reluctance to back up Arab Gulf allies was displayed in the face of Iranian meddling in Bahrain in the last two weeks. Tehran was brazenly outspoken about its plans for the Gulf kingdom: The Iranian Mashreq News website last week reported a meeting in the holy city of Qom between the radical Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and “Bahraini rebels,” to whom the Iraqi preacher addressed a sermon, in which he pledged support for “the Bahraini Islamic Revolution.”
This was the first time Tehran had admitted to embracing a Shiite dissident party in an Arab land. Yet the Iranians continue to insist they are not interfering in Bahrain’s domestic affairs.
Monday, April 22, the Saudi Asharq al Awsat angrily accused Iran of “outright sectarianism” in Bahrain, noting that al-Sadr had showed his true colors as champion of the tyrant Bashar al-Assad who slaughters Syrians on a daily basis.