The foreign ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), after meeting today in Abu Dhabi in an emergency session, issued a communiqué condemning Iran's ongoing military exercises in the territorial waters of the three islands in the Arabian Gulf (Abu Moussa, Greater Tunbs, and Lesser Tunbs) that belong to the United Arab Emirates. The communiqué called on Iran to immediately and quickly halt these provocative acts that threaten the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf. The Council renewed its rejection of the continuing Iranian occupation to the islands, and stressed the UAE's sovereignty over them.
The communiqué stated that in spite of UAE and GCC initiatives for closer relations with Iran, the latter has responded by persisting in its occupation of the islands and its violation of UAE's territorial integrity, adding that Iran has made the three islands a military zone, which the GCC states consider provocative and a matter for concern in addition to being contrary to what Iran has said. The communiqué called on Iran to translate into action the intentions of fostering ties with the GCC states that were declared by President Mohammad Khatami, by sincerely responding to calls by Sheikh Zayid Bin Sultan Al-Nihyan, the GCC, the Arab League, the United Nations, and other world organizations, to solve peacefully the dispute on the islands according to the international norms and conventions.
The ministerial council made the decision to entrust UAE Foreign Minister Rashed Abdullah Al-Naimi, who is chairing the current GCC session, together with GCC Secretary-General Jamil Al-Hujeilan, with briefing regional organizations as well as sisterly and friendly states, on the dangers of the situation in light of the Iranian armament program, in particular the missiles and weapons of mass destruction that are in excess of Iran's legitimate defensive requirements, and that threaten the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf. The council also decided that the Secretary-General would submit a comprehensive report on the Iranian violations and military exercises at the next GCC meeting.