The United Arab Emirates officials are burning with a low blue flame. They have once again started insulting the Iranian nation using an arrogant and offensive language. What has irritated them this time is the recent visit paid by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf as part of his provincial trip to the southern province of Hormozgan on April 11. They claim that the island belongs to their soil and that Iran has violated their territorial integrity by continuing its “occupation” of the strategic island.
Of course fueling anti-Iranian sentiments has been constantly on the UAE officials’ political agenda. The statesmen of the newborn, tiny Arab sheikhdom think that by launching verbal attacks against Iran, they can gain power and popularity. But they have brought their eggs to the wrong market. Hostility and rivaling with Iran will backfire and fail. The hullabaloo of the Emirati officials is a tempest in a teapot and there’s no trace of logic and rationality in it. What is annoying and painful is that by credulously neglecting the principle of peaceful neighborhood and coexistence, the Arab officials are muttering the words of Israel, the U.S. and UK about Iran and upsetting a neighbor which has always contributed to their progress and development.
Over the past days, I was following the headlines and articles of the Arab newspapers and magazines. To my utmost surprise, I found that they have been collectively pursuing a unified policy of vilifying and denigrating Iran over the Abu Musa dispute. In line with their politicians and statesmen, the Arab media have used the most odious and abhorrent language against Iran, as if they were talking about a sworn enemy with which they have been at odds for centuries.
The public atmosphere of the Arab nations since the short trip of Iranian president to the Abu Musa island has been an ambience of hatred, antagonism and hostility. Iran believes that the UAE follows the path of the Western powers and Israel by saying that Abu Musa is occupied by Iran. But the UAE officials deny the charge as Anwar Mohammed Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has rudely claimed that “we have fed up with the record of foreign pressure which the Iranians kept parroting.”
Peter Hellyer, an American executive associated with the UAE Ministry of Information and Culture has discourteously called as “ludicrous” the statement by Iranian parliamentarians that the UK drives UAE in citing territorial claims against the Iranian island of Abu Musa. Albeit, it was consequently proved that Iranians’ suspicion about the possible role of the U.S., UK and other Western states in the UAE’s anti-Iranian scenario was right when the foreign ministries of Italy, France, UK and the U.S. Department of State issued separate statements, backing the tiny sheikhdom’s claims on the Abu Musa island.
An article run by the UAE newspaper “The National” written by Michael Theodoulou has impolitely called the Iranian president “publicity-loving and populist” and condemned his trip to the Abu Musa island. The other Arab nations in the region were not hesitant in rushing up to attack and insult Iran over the island row. Ali Bluwi, a columnist with the Saudi-based “Arab News” wrote an impertinent article titled “Iran’s political bluff,” describing Iran as a country suffering from “superiority complex.”
“Iran lives in self-denial and as if it is an angel free of defects and flaws. Psychologically, those suffering from superiority complex believe they can set a good example for others to copy,” he wrote.
Other Arab media have also shown the same reaction. They published articles and editorials with bombastic and insolent language, attacking Iranian people and officials in an impudent way.
Historical evidence confirming that the islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb have always been an inseparable part of Iran’s soil is so abundant and plentiful that takes several research projects and scholarly articles to be cited. Historical documents including hundreds of precious ancient maps kept in the world museum give proof to the fact that the triple islands of Persian Gulf constitute the southernmost parts of Iran and that the claims of Emirati officials are unfounded, illegitimate and baseless. However, what is unfortunate and regrettable is that the UAE officials and statesmen from other Arab countries have all joined an ill-fated anti-Iranian scenario which bears no fruit and only costs them the friendship of a committed and faithful ally.
Over the past four decades and following the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, Iranians have enormously invested their money in different financial and economic sectors of the small Arab state, helping the vast, extensive desert turn into a prosperous country which has now become the hub of tourism in the Persian Gulf.
Some Iranian lawmakers have suggested that it’s better for Tehran to sever its ties with Abu Dhabi so that the tiny Emirates may learn a lesson not to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs in the future and refrain from making provocative statements about Iran’s territorial integrity. Iran’s Army Commander Ahmad Reza Pourdastan has also implied that all options are on the table vis-à-vis those who question Iran’s territorial integrity: “if the sedition is not resolved through diplomacy, military forces are ready to show the prowess of the establishment to the claimant.”
Iran’s cultural managers have also showed their diplomatic finesse and skill by saying that they will hold the next edition of Persian Gulf cultural festival in the Iranian island of Abu Musa. Vali Esmaili, a member of Iranian Parliament’s Domestic Policy Committee has also said that Iran is preparing the plans for establishing a new province called “Persian Gulf” with the “Abu Musa” island as its capital.
At any rate, when it comes to territorial integrity, Iranians have always shown a firm stance and demonstrated that they will not retreat an iota from their rights. In the 1980s when the United States and several European countries backed and equipped the late dictator Saddam Hussein in the war which he waged on Iran, the Iranians didn’t surrender an inch of their soil to the enemy.
Now, perhaps the UAE can win a psychological war against Iran with the help of numerous Arab and Western media outlets who are ready to blast and blitz Iran on every occasion, but the fact on ground is that Abu Musa and the two other Persian Gulf islands will remain an eternal and indissoluble part of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s soil.