Today, Monday, the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army, General Abdel Rahim Mousavi, inspected the air defense sites in the three islands in dispute with the Emirates, namely Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and Tehran had included the beginning of this month these islands into its defense policy, in a new shift in policy Iranian.
The Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported that General Mousavi visited “the martyr Ismaili air defense group in the Bandar Linka area, inspected the defense group and the three islands and was briefed on the combat readiness and operational ability of this unit.”
The Iranian army commander said that the southeastern defense zone “is one of the strategic and sensitive defense points in the integrated defense network,” stressing the need to “monitor all enemy movements with more precision and sensitivity.”
And before General Mousavi’s visit, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, early this month, inspected his forces on the island of Abu Musa, a week after the commander of the Navy in the Revolutionary Guard, Ali Reza Tangsiri, visited the islands of Greater and Lesser Tunb, and inspected his forces.
These strategic islands oversee the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 40% of the global production of oil passes daily. Whoever controls these islands easily monitors the maritime traffic in the Gulf, making them a suitable center for military control.
For its part, Abu Dhabi says that the three islands are part of the state’s lands, and demands to return them to the Emirati sovereignty, while Iran asserts that its ownership of the islands is not negotiable, and the UAE has called on Iran to negotiate over the islands, or accept referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Tehran, however, rejects this. Tehran declared sovereignty over the islands in 1971, only two days before the UAE gained independence from Britain.
In 1992 Iran installed anti-ship missiles on the land of Abu Musa Island, and set up a base for the Revolutionary Guard and a naval base, and in 1999 Tehran established an airport on Abu Musa Island, linking it to the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas.
And in 2012 it established a new governorate called the “Persian Gulf”, and made Abu Musa Island its center, and the same year witnessed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first visit by an Iranian president to this island.