Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the Islamic Republic will never compromise on its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Iranian minister made the remark during a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday.
It was in reaction to a joint statement issued by several Arab countries and Russia on Iran’s three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb.
Pointing to the final statement of the 6th Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum in Morocco issued on Thursday, the foreign minister once again reiterated that the islands in the Persian Gulf are an “inseparable” part of the Iranian territorial integrity.
He said Tehran and Moscow enjoy expanding relations and “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states are among the fundamental principles in relations among countries.”
The three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs have historically been part of Iran, proof of which can be found and corroborated by countless historical, legal, and geographical documents in Iran and other parts of the world. But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has repeatedly laid claim to the islands.
The islands fell under British control in 1921 but on November 30, 1971, a day after British forces left the region and just two days before the UAE was to become an official federation, Iran’s sovereignty over the islands was restored.
On Thursday, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, condemned the statement, calling on Russia to pay careful attention to its position regarding the Islamic Republic.
Elsewhere in the phone conversation, Amir-Abdollahian commended the positive trend of peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia and warned against the adverse consequence of foreign interference in the region.
Russia always respects Iran’s territorial integrity: Lavrov
The Russian foreign minister, for his part, said Moscow always respects Iran’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty, emphasizing that such a policy should never be questioned.
Lavrov said Russia has strategic relations with Iran.
He also pointed to Tehran’s hosting of the 3+3 meeting in October and called on the parties to promote cooperation in an attempt to help Baku and Yerevan achieve peace and a regional mechanism to guarantee it.
The top Russian diplomat said Iran plays a leading and constructive role in efforts to establish peace in the South Caucasus region.
The 3+3 format cooperation mechanism features the three South Caucasus countries of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan plus Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
Situated in the South Caucasus, the landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been at the heart of a long-running dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.