Ahmadinejad's visit to island prompts UAE to recall Iran ambassador

(file photo) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the disputed island of Abu Mousa in the Persian Gulf.

Story highlights

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the disputed island of Abu Mousa
  • UAE foreign minister described the visit as a "flagrant violation'' of his country's sovereignty
  • The UAE and Iran are involved in a long-running dispute over three Persian Gulf islands

The UAE recalled its ambassador to Iran on Thursday in protest of a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a disputed island.

Abu Mousa is one of three Persian Gulf islands that are the subject of a longtime border dispute between the two countries.

The UAE's Foreign Ministry said it was summoning Tehran envoy Saif Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi for consultations.

The move comes a day after Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed condemned Ahmadinejad's visit to Abu Mousa "in the strongest possible terms," according to a report by state news agency WAM.

The UAE says Iran has illegally occupied Abu Mousa since 1971. The two other disputed islands are the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

The foreign minister described the visit as a "flagrant violation'' of UAE sovereignty and said it was a setback to efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the issue, WAM reported.

Ahmadinejad used his visit to Abu Mousa to comment on the historical basis for the Persian Gulf's name, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA. Arab states refer to the body of water as the Arabian Gulf.

    Iran views the islands as part of its territory.

        CNN recommends

      • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

        As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
      • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
      • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

        Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
      • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

        It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.