Old territory

The summer’s punishing heat may be sweeping across the Gulf but diplomacy between the UAE and Iran couldn’t be frostier. The latter’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz might have soured the once cordial relationship but things nose-dived again in April when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a surprise visit to the tiny island of Abu Musa. Despite a population of only 2,000, Abu Musa has long been a bone of contention between the two states. The Emirates claim historic sovereignty and that the island has been illegally occupied by Iran since 1971. Ahmadinejad’s arrival was taken as a provocation by the UAE’s leadership, which has long pushed to settle this matter of ownership at The Hague.

Monocle 24

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