By: Mir M.Hosseini
On Feb, 24 1930 Iran protested against British flags on Iranian Islands in the Persian Gulf. The official note was delivered to British Minister Plenipotentiary to Tehran. Iranians were aware that British conspiracies are the main source of some unfounded disputes in the Persian Gulf.
Historically, those Islands were part of Iran until in 1903; Britain started bringing in immigrants from Southern side of the Persian Gulf, installing them as vassal Sheikhs.
In total, Iran submitted around 30 notes of such complains.
In 1929, there was a row between Iran and Britain regarding Iran's seizure of a Dubai boat in Greater Tunb waters. Iran suggested taking the issue to international courts but Britain agreed to Iran's terms.
Because of British naval hegemony in the Persian Gulf, they bullied Iran in 1948 for expressing desire to open government offices in the islands.
In 1953, during Mosaddegh's premiership, Iran nationalized her oil industry due to the fact that British colonists were practically taking the Iranian petroleum for free. At that time, Iran experienced sovereignty over the Persian Gulf islands. The CIA backed coup against the popular government of Mosaddegh and installation of the puppet king Mohammad Reza Shah gave Britain opportunity to re-start conspiracies in the islands.
Iran took back her islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa in Nov, 1971.
Same year, Libya, Iraq, South Yemen and Algeria filed a complaint with the United Nations and representatives from Kuwait and Emirates joined a council on Dec, 9, 1971. Iran called it an internal affair and Somalia proposed mediation to resolve the issue. After all, discussing the dispute was postponed. Meanwhile Iran and Britain agreed on revoking claims on Yemen while Iran agreed to close an eye on independence of Bahrain, an Iranian province indeed.
Iran agreed to support Emirates bid to join the UN on the condition it gave up claims on the Iranian Islands.
On Aug, 7, 1972 Iran submitted a report to the UNSC proving the fact that the situation in Islands is not occupation and it's just experiencing rightful sovereignty after years of interrupt by British colonization.
It was only after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that disputes on the Persian Gulf Islands were brought up again and Iraq claimed that one of its goals of invasion of Iran in Sep, 1980 was to occupy the disputed islands, a costly war that failed.
On Sep, 27, 1992 a conference to resolve disputes on the Islands was not successful.
Due to US trade sanctions and embargo, since 1980, most of Iran's imports and bank transactions have been done through the Emirates. This money has given the latter an illusion of power that will easily fade away by correct policies.
Britain can no more afford naval presence in the Persian Gulf however some Arab dictatorships owe their existence on American support. Presence of US warships which have been the source of discontent and tension among local residents, sometimes result in extremism and acts of violence.