The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss ambassador to Tehran in protest over the US State Department’s ‘meddling comments’ about a recent visit to the Iranian island of Abu Musa by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
During the meeting, which was held late on Friday, the director of the North America Bureau of the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the comments made by the US State Department on the Iranian island are ‘interference’ in Iran’s internal affairs and demanded an explanation from Washington.
In a statement issued on April 17, deputy spokesperson of the US State Department Mark Toner said, “Actions such as the April 11 visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the Abu Musa Island only complicate efforts to settle the issue.”
In the meeting with the Swiss ambassador, the Iranian Foreign Ministry official also stated that Abu Musa Island is an inseparable part of Iranian territory.
The Iranian president’s visit to Abu Musa “is like his other provincial trips,” he added.
On April 11, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Iranian island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf as part of his tour of the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan.
On the same day, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan criticized the visit as a "violation of UAE sovereignty over its territories."
The islands of the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa 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. However, the United Arab Emirates has repeatedly laid claim to the islands.
The islands temporarily fell under British control in the 1800s but were returned to Iran on November 30, 1971 through a legal procedure that preceded the establishment of the UAE as an independent state.