Row grows over Abu Musa island
TEHRANA draft law to be submitted to the Iranian Parliament proposes the establishment of a new province, with Abu Musa, one of the three islands disputed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as its capital, said a Parliament source, according to the Al Arabiya website.
The draft law, which was discussed in the Committee of Municipalities and Internal Policy, proposes the establishment of a new province to be called the Persian Gulf Province, said committee member Wally Ismail. “The province is to include several Iranian islands in the Gulf together with Abu Musa, which will become the capital,” he told the semi-official Fars News Agency. The name of the island, Ismail added, might change from the Arabic Abu Musa to Bu Musa. “Abu Musa is a fake name,” he said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad infuriated the UAE by visiting Abu Musa on April 11 and asserting in a speech that historical records proved “the Persian Gulf is Persian.” Iran took control of the islands in 1971, when Britain granted independence to its Gulf protectorates and withdrew its forces. Abu Musa was placed under joint administration in a deal with Sharjah, now part of the UAE.