History of abu musa and the tunbs
Again reports on 24 August indicated that Iranian authorities refused entry to Abu Musa of one hundred people of different nationalities. Iranian sources made it clear ctivities were seen in the Arab part of Abu Musa involving a number of armed individuals from other countries, including Western states. The UAE, on the other hand, without officially denying
these serious charges of breach of the 1971 MoU, accused Iran of preventing UAE nationals from entering Abu Musa demanding visas from them. Tension began to ease towards the end of 1992, but in late December, the closing statement of the 13th summit of the Arabic countries' Co-operation Council of the Persian Gulf, announced in Abu Dhabi, called on Iran to terminate "occupation" of the Tunb islands.
Some of the UAE Arguments: The following two are the main points argued by the United Arab Emirates and Iran's response to them:
1-Priority in occupation:
The first is the argument of "priority in occupation". This claim is vague and ignores the following facts:
A- Whereas the emirates appeared on the political map of the region only in 19th century, Iran was an ancient nation and was the only government in the vicinity of these islands at the time. All historical documents verify that
all islands of northern half of the Persian Gulf have always belonged to Iran.
B- Ras al-Khaimeh did not exist at the turn of 20th century, and Sharjah was not, at the time, an emirate of territorial dimension to be able to claim offshore territories. The Sheikh was a tribal chief under British protection, whose authority was to the tribal people without territorial definition. One should not ignore the fact that British pretext for taking control in the Persian Gulf was to suppress the activities of the same tribes, then referred to by them as "pirates" of no political entity, let alone territorial dimension.
C- In the nineteenth century, Iran had lease arrangements with Oman, according to which Fath Ali Shah in 1811 and Naser ad-Din Shah in 1856 granted the Sultan lease title to Bandar Abbas, Minab and southern Persian Gulf coastal areas from east to west as far as Bahrain. If all these areas belonged to Iran, the islands of Abu Musa and the two Tunbs situated in its geographical centre could not have been "unoccupied".
D- Iran's sovereignty and ownership of these islands, as well as all other offshore and inland areas of the country, were traditionally established without the display of flags of identity. Marking occupation or ownership of territory by hoisting flags was a new concept introduced to the region by European powers.
E- Nevertheless, in 1887 Iran hoisted flags in Sirri and Abu Musa to mark her ownership of these islands after dismissing the Qasemi deputy governors of Bandar Lengeh.
F- Geographical documents from Arab & Islamic historians of the post-Islamic era confirm that all islands of the Persian Gulf belonged to Iran.
G- Prime Minister Haji Mirza Aqasi's 1840s proclamation of Iran's ownership of all islands in the Persian Gulf was not
challenged by any government then or at any time thereafter.
H- An official British document verifies that after the establishment of one branch of the Qasemi family at Lengeh,
the family occupied the Iranian islands, probably in the "confused period subsequent to the death of Nadir Shah". This story is an admission that Tunbs, Abu Musa and Sirri islands belonged to Iran and were illegally occupied at a
time when Iran in practice was leaderless.
I- More than 25 official or semi-official British maps of 18th and 19th centuries discovered by this author confirm
Iran's ownership of these islands.
J- Sir E. Beckett, legal expert of British Government at the Foreign Office (who later served as a judge at the International Court of Justice) ruled in 1932 that the Iranians possessed sovereignty over Tamb and Abu Musa in
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