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A Lack of Diplomatic Finesse

By       Message Kourosh Ziabari     Permalink
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It seems that UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has much to learn about the fine art of diplomacy.

Demonstrating his lack of diplomatic finesse and inexperience, the UAE foreign minister has exposed himself to the possibility of a harsh response from the Islamic Republic of Iran through his provocative remarks in which he explicitly questions the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic, the most tolerant and pacifist state of the Persian Gulf region.

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With the surreptitious support of the Israeli, U.S., and British lobbies, the United Arab Emirates is now playing the role of a regional ally of the hegemonistic powers that have created a specter of Iranophobia for Arab states, which now consider Iran a serious threat to their security.

The United Arab Emirates, which in 2004 started negotiations with Tel Aviv over the establishment of an Israeli representative office in Abu Dhabi, is currently holding negotiations on a $20 million deal with the Israeli regime that would facilitate the UAE's access to the Israeli-built satellite Eros B and its high-resolution imagery.

A report published on February 23, 2009 on the American Defense News website said that "for Israel, the deal represents the latest step in forging links with a key moderate Arab state which, like Israel, worries about the threat from Iran."

The "moderate Arab state", which denies having official relations with Israel, began clandestine talks with Tel Aviv in 2006 and later signed contracts with the Israeli-based company ImageSat International.

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The invitation of Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau to Abu Dhabi to attend an international conference on renewable energy in early 2010 was the latest move by the Persian Gulf state toward normalizing ties with Israel.

According to a report published by the UAE newspaper The National, the UAE is now one of the world's biggest arms purchasers and a leading client of the U.S. military-industrial complex.

On April 20, the UAE foreign minister likened Iran's control of three strategic islands in the Persian Gulf, Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, to Israel's occupation of Arab territories.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, came into being when Britain granted independence to its Persian Gulf protectorates and withdrew its forces in 1971. Now its foreign minister draws erroneous and misleading comparisons between Israel's criminal occupation of the Palestinian homeland and Iran's legal administration over its own islands.

The position adopted by the UAE's inexperienced foreign minister, who'll be celebrating his 38th birthday tomorrow, is a harbinger of Abu Dhabi's anti-Iranian plot, which is apparently planned and directed by the White House. Threatening Iran with "all options", warning about a potential nuclear strike, imposing crippling sanctions, promoting Iranophobia in the region, and provoking a novice state to call into question the territorial integrity of the most ancient civilization of the region are only a few of the actions the White House has taken to prevent the emergence of a powerful Iran.

The UAE claims to have a legal right of sovereignty over the three Persian Gulf islands and says that Iran has occupied its islands unlawfully. However, there is an enormous amount of historical documents and other evidence that prove the UAE is only making baseless allegations.

First of all, the country of the UAE, in its current configuration, only came into existence in the year 1971, while Iran has been a regional superpower for the past 2500 years.

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In addition, Professor Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, the renowned Iranian scholar and geopolitical expert, has said that Iranian Prime Minister Haji Mirza Aqasi's proclamation of ownership of all islands in the Persian Gulf in the 1840s was not challenged by any government at the time.

He notes that "Sir E. Beckett, the legal expert of the British Government at the Foreign Office ruled in 1932 that the Iranians possessed sovereignty over the Tunbs and Abu Musa in 1887-88." The UAE as a country only came into existence 123 years later.

In 1888, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, the British minister-plenipotentiary to Tehran, presented a War Office map to Iranian King Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar in which the islands were identified as Iranian territory.

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Kourosh Ziabari, freelance journalist and blogger from Iran, technology and culture reporter, interviewer and media correspondent for the Foreign Policy Journal.

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