Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reaffirmed Iran's steadfast commitment to national sovereignty and territorial integrity during a recent phone call with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The statement came in response to a joint declaration by several Arab nations and Russia concerning Iran's islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb in the Persian Gulf.
Addressing the final statement of the 6th Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum, Amir-Abdollahian emphasized that these islands are an "inseparable" part of Iran's territorial integrity. He highlighted the strong relations between Tehran and Moscow, underscoring the importance of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity in international relations.
Historically, the three Persian Gulf islands have been integral to Iran, a fact supported by numerous historical, legal, and geographical documents. Despite this, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has persistently asserted its claims over the islands. Iran regained sovereignty over them on November 30, 1971, following British control since 1921.
Senior advisor to Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, condemned the joint statement, urging Russia to carefully consider its position regarding Iran. The Iranian foreign minister, in the same conversation with Lavrov, commended positive peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia while cautioning against foreign interference in the region.
Sergei Lavrov reiterated Russia's unwavering respect for Iran's territorial integrity and national sovereignty, emphasizing the strategic nature of the bilateral relations. Lavrov praised Iran's role in hosting the 3+3 meeting in October, urging cooperation to facilitate peace between Baku and Yerevan, along with the establishment of a regional mechanism to ensure it.
The 3+3 format cooperation mechanism involves Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Lavrov acknowledged Iran's constructive role in promoting peace in the South Caucasus region, where the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has long been a focal point of contention between Azerbaijan and Armenia.