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Russian President Vladimir Putin sits next to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Iran Summons Russian Ambassador over Statement on Gulf Islands

Iran will not negotiate over three Gulf islands disputed with the United Arab Emirates, the legal adviser to Iran's president said on Wednesday, July 12, following Tehran's summoning of the Russian ambassador over a statement about the islands.

The islands, Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb are claimed by the UAE and Tehran but have been held by Iran since 1971, shortly before the seven Gulf emirates gained full independence from Britain and formed the UAE, now allied with Washington.

On Monday, July 10, Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) issued a joint statement in which foreign ministers expressed their support for a UAE initiative to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of the islands through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice.

"Examining all past documents shows that these islands belong to Iran and cannot be disputed," said the Legal Advisor Mohammad Dehghan.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the Russia-GCC statement as contrary to friendly relations between Iran and its neighbors, adding "The three islands belong to Iran forever." (JPost / VFI News)