A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, April 16, 2012

UAE-Iran Tensions Still Rising Over Ahmadinejad Visit; Ambassador Recalled, Soccer Game Canceled

Mahmoud Ahmidinejad's provocative recent visit to the disputed but Iranian-occupied island of Abu Musa infuriated the UAE (which claims Abu Musa and the Tunb islands, occupied by Iran), has led to heightened tensions across the Gulf just as there was a glimmer of hope for a breakthrough on the issue of Iran's nuclear program. The UAE recalled its Ambassador to Tehran, and has been calling for an international resolution of the longstanding dispute. Lest you doubt the seriousness of the tension, the UAE has now canceled a "friendly" soccer match scheduled with Iran.

The timing of Ahmadinejad's visit, seemingly counter to the general thrust of Iran's more conciliatory recent tone, is still a mystery.

1 comment:

David Mack said...

Iran assertiveness on this issue contrasts with decades old UAE proposal that the matter be submitted to the ICJ. Iran claims its sovereignty is beyond discussion. The historical record in a book length study by a capable American historian gives an edge to the UAE case.