Iran’s Historical, Evident and Indisputable Sovereignty over the Three Islands Part (II)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Seyed Majid Tafreshi

Part II

Role of British Colonialism in Continuation of Regional Disputes

Iran’s sovereignty over the Islands of Greater and Lesser Tonbs and Abu Musa are unquestionable as a reality in the international scene and there are solid historical documents for crystal-clear principle. In this connection, the International Jame Jam TV Network held an interview with Dr. Seyed Majid Tafreshi, History Researcher residing in Britain to introduce his viewpoints and the existing valid documents on the issue.

Among the documents is a map dating back to 1886 prepared at the time of Queen Victoria donated to Iran by the then British foreign secretary. In that map,  the cartographers of the British Foreign Office demarcated and asserted Iran’s ownership over these islands very well using a specific color that belonged to Iran’s ownership leaving no doubt in this respect. These maps were so exact and complete and indicated absolute sovereignty of Iran over the three islands that later when the then British foreign secretary realized his mistake in donating the map to Iran, regretted what he had done. He said he learnt from the issue that never ever he would donate a map to any other country that might later be detrimental to themselves. Anyway, a map which was talked about for years, but raised little, was fortunately found in the archives of the foreign office and Dr Tabarsa has published it in his book. This map is one of the most important reasons supporting Iran’s historical sovereignty over the three islands in the Persian Gulf.

Dr. Tafreshi said, “When the case of Bahrain was raised and Iran withdrew from Bahrain for reasons that are beyond our discussions here, and independence of Bahrain was raised by international forums, Iran insisted on sticking to its rights with respect to the issue of the three islands.”
“We witness in a period that the then British government claimed that the islands are under their domination. But when they withdrew from the region in early 1970s, we realize that the talks change in nature all of a sudden. They said they could not accept Iran’s sovereignty over the three islands because they were representatives of Arab sheikhs! It is while nothing like that existed up to then and this issue was raised all of a sudden and under conditions that the state of the United Arab Emirates was on the threshold of creation. When the Iranian government insists that it would not accept any compromise, buts and ifs regarding the islands, Britain raised a new debate and that is sending the case of arbitration of the sovereignty over the three islands to the International Court of Justice at The Hague and other authorities such as the UN Security Council. There, Iranian jurists raised issues correctly so that the baseless claims and sending the case to international authorities were thwarted to a great extent. When the case of Bahrain was raised and it was referred to international authorities and Iran was left alone, therefore with respect to the case of islands, Iran did not do this and the explanations Iranian jurists offered both inside the Iranian Foreign Ministry and outside was that if the case of arbitration is correct with respect to the ownership of Iran over the disputed regions, why the British government prevented raising of the issue of North Ireland at the UN Security Council. Therefore the same case applies to Iran’s sovereignty over the three islands, islands which have belonged to Iran for several centuries and there are thousands of valid documents and historical texts about it. There is no reason for Iran to accept other comment about its destiny.”

Mentioning that the residents of these three islands have been Persian and of Iranian origin, he said, “Those who oppose Iran’s sovereignty over the islands are famous in the world. They have hired various researchers in the world to forge identity and history for them and write books.”

“We should be vigilant. We cannot say that since every body knows and the documents show that the historical sovereignty of the islands belongs to Iran, therefore, we should do nothing. We should prove to the world by publishing various documents and books and create this notion that the islands belong to Iran and no debate can be done over it.” 

“Another issue I would like to mention with respect to documents, is that among the documents I studied, which will be published in a special edition, we see that the British government has not shown serious resolution to settle the case of the islands and the issue of refraining from releasing parts of the documents is some kind of continuing the policy of pain in the neck. This is the policy of continuation, as they say an unfinished event so that in this way all the disputes of the region would continue.”

“I think, with the prudence that Iran should show, it can maintain the stability and security of the region and insist on its national sovereignty and there is almost no sensible and wise person whether in the academic or political arenas to doubt about this issue.”


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