Speaking or writing as an Iranian citizen makes it difficult to weigh in on the latest remarks made by the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdallah Bin Zayid Al Nahyan, who likened Iran’s legal sovereignty of its Persian Gulf islands to the Zionist regime’s occupation of Syria’s Golan heights. Investigating the whole story from a broad view, some focal points should be considered regarding what the novice FM has grumbled in his latest statements before the Federal Council of Emirates.
To one’s utmost surprise, Mr. Nahyan is interestingly 38 years old, and it means that he is one year younger than the country he represents internationally since the official establishment of the state of United Arabic Emirates dates back to 1971, and Nahyan is born on April 30, 1972. So, from a basic comparison with his Iranian counterpart who is a veteran, 57-year-old diplomat, one can simply figure out that Nahyan is too inexperienced and green to make verbal attacks against a country which has existed on the face of earth for the past 7500 years, and mathematically, 7500 is more than a little bit bigger than 37! Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian counterpart of Mr. Nahyan, has been a senior diplomat and politician for the past 30 years, serving in various departments and sections of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so even if Mr. Nahyan has started his diplomatic career since he was 10, he would still lag 3 years behind Mr. Mottaki in terms of political experience.
The unconventional rhetoric of UAE Foreign Minister is being widely circulated by the British and American mainstream media outlets, and one may doubt for a moment whether the plots designed to threaten Iran’s territorial integrity are being directed from the White House, Tel Aviv or Abu Dhabi. (Fascinatingly, they’re only the American, British and Israeli media outlets – such as the Associated Press, the Daily Telegraph and Haaretz – which refer to the Persian Gulf as “Arabian Gulf”, a fabricated term which violates the UN’s Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names’ 2003 decision to initialize “Persian Gulf” as the only valid name for the body of water separating Iran from the Arabian Peninsula. Such hostile actions are nothing more than a set of concerted plans to undermine Iran’s territorial integrity and bring down its national cohesion after the plots of post-election’s artificial unrest failed deplorably).
I’ve seen some pictures of the building of UAE’s Federal Council, namely parliament, and I don’t put the blame on Mr. Nahyan’s shoulders for making such ludicrous remarks that even his Iranian counterpart refused to issue a response to. The building is a gloriously-ornamented magnificence edifice and a 38-year-old young man would be unquestionably affected by the supreme environment of such a building to express that “the occupied islands of Abu Mousa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs will sooner or later return to the UAE”.
Those who sit behind the seats of this building are supposedly the representatives of a nation, and Mr. Nahyan has categorically promised them to bring back what he considers to be his paternal inheritance, albeit this is not exceedingly unusual in the Israel-allied Arab nation to calculate the global equations on the basis of familial and paternal skirmishes; the ruling family of Al Nahyan has been struggling and clashing with a well-off neighboring tribe, namely Al Qassimis, who signed the 1971 British-brokered deal with Iran which designated to Tehran the full sovereignty of Abu Mousa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs (three small islands in the Southern Persian Gulf) in lieu of the sovereignty of Ras-Al Khaimeh Protectorate as a British-owned land.
Anyway, Mr. Nahyan courageously promised the representatives of his nation to bring back, sooner or later, “its islands” which Iran has “occupied” unlawfully.
There are some possibilities, and one may think of some caustic motives which has drawn the young man to make such “uncalculated” comments, as Iran’s FM Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the media.
Firstly, the bitter, nightmarish outfall of Dubai which was once the sugary, lovable dream of Emirs in Abu Dhabi can be recalled as the basis for UAE’s projection towards Iran, the adjoining neighbor which can be attacked on a regular or irregular basis for some sort of entertainment. Dubai was slated to become the heaven of Middle East with multi-billion-dollar investments of the American and Zionist-owned companies who would search their Middle Eastern ideal in the seashores of Persian Gulf, but with the continued “miscalculation” of young people such as Mr. Nahyan who rule the young country of UAE, Dubai’s sweet dreams now do not exceed a frightening depression.
In order to distract the public opinions from the dissolving slump in Dubai, one should take action, and who can be a better subject than Iran that is busy confronting the spates of black propaganda by the American, British, French and German media outlets from one hand and the continued threats of military strike and a permanent “table” which is home to “all the options” on the other?
The other option might by a lack of geographical knowledge. As a friend, who is almost a few years younger than Mr. Nahyan, I would cordially invite him to spend a few hours reading some scientific and geographical materials regarding what he is drumming for.
If he does not have enough time, I’ll be more than glad to summarize for him the whole story along with a digest of historical evidences.
In 1888, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, the British Plenipotentiary Minister to Tehran, presented a War Office map to the Iranian King Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, in which the islands were presented as Iranian territory.
In his 1892 book Persia and the Persian Question, George Nathaniel Curzon, the Viceroy and Governor-General of India recognized the islands as belonging to Iran, but a decade later in 1902 the British occupied the islands as a buffer against the growing Soviet influence in Southern Iran.
Being afraid of the growing Soviet influence in the Southern regions of Iran, the British forces occupied three Iranian islands, named Abu Mousa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb in the year 1902.
Iran and Britain fought over the islands for decades until 1968, when the Britons pulled their troops out from the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf as a reconciliatory stance.
Then, in 1971, as the colonial protectorate of Ras al-Khaimeh and Sharjah, Iran signed an agreement with Sharjah with the arbitration of British government to take responsibility for the islands’ security while recognizing the sovereignty of Bahrain and the UAE.
Now everything is clear. If Mr. Nahyan, who should be supposedly aware of the modality of international regulations and agreements, insists to return “his” islands “sooner or later” back to his paternal homeland, UAE and Bahrain should be reattached to Iran as they were the provinces of Iran until the 1971 Iran-Briton-Sharjah agreement was signed.
Mr. Nahyan and his family members can take sovereignty of three islands they claim to be the owner of, and the United Arabic Emirates will be returned to Iran. That’s a fair swap!
Anyway, Mr. Nahyan should be referred to the demographical data of his country which indicate that there’re 400,000 Iranian citizens living there. If these 400,000 people pull their enormous capitals and skyscraping investments out from the economy of UAE, I doubt whether Israel and the U.S. would suffice to lend a hand to UAE to keep up with the barest rudiments of its flimsy life.
Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian media correspondent, freelance journalist and interviewer. He is a contributing writer of Finland’s Award-winning Ovi Magazine and the the Foreign Policy Journal. He is a member of Tlaxcala Translators Network for Linguistic Diversity (Spain). He is also a member of World Student Community for Sustainable Development (WSC-SD). Kourosh Ziabari's articles have appeared in a number of Canadian, Belgian, Italian, French and German websites. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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This story was published on December 10, 2010.