‘The Three Islands – mapping the UAE-Iran dispute’ launched

WAM ABU DHABI, 29th November 2013 (WAM) — A new book entitled “The Three Islands – mapping the UAE-Iran dispute” was launched today in Abu Dhabi to coincide with the 42nd anniversary of the occupation of the UAE’s islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb in November 1971.

The launch ceremony at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC, was attended by H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President’s Representative, Sir Harold Walker, former British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Professor Michael Clarke, Director of the Royal United Services Institute in London, the publishers of the book, as well as by its author, Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The book will also be launched in London next week.

In introductory remarks, Sir Harold and Professor Clarke praised Sheikh Khalid, who has recently been awarded his PhD by King’s College, London, for the thoroughness of his research into the history of the dispute.

In a speech to an invited audience, Sheikh Khalid noted that he had sought to present the issue clearly and concisely, but also as comprehensively as possible, putting forward the arguments of both sides. In the short term, he suggested, there was little chance of the dispute being solved, since this would require a change in the Iranian attitude. More engagement from the United States and from other members of the international community in support of the UAE’s legitimate case would be required, he suggested.

In the book, Sheikh Khalid notes: ” If the three islands dispute is to be resolved in the UAE’s favour, it will need a positive change in the Iranian regime’s regional threat perception, and even then nothing is guaranteed.” Yet, he predicts, “the time of protracted stalemate may have drawn to a close.” PH/ MMYS WAM/MMYS

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