The Gulf Cooperation Council Chief slammed as “aggressive” a statement by a top Iranian Military Official who has said the “Gulf belonged to Iran”.
“The Gulf belongs to all states on its shores, and Iran has no right to claim otherwise as it owns nothing from the Gulf but its territorial waters,” said GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani in a statement.
The Chief-of-Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces General Hassan Firouzabadi’s remarks are “aggressive and reflect Iran’s expansionist intentions, which contradict the principles of good neighborhood,” he added.
Media reports in the Islamic Republic have said a top Iranian Military Officer recently denounced what he called an “Arab dictatorial front” and claimed that the “Gulf has belonged to Iran forever.”
Speaking on the annual "National Day of the Persian Gulf", Firouzabadi said “the Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf are unable to contain the popular uprisings,” Firouzabadi has said. “The Gulf has always, is and shall always belong to Iran.”
He further condemned the regional Arab monarchies for refusing to call the waterway between Iran and its Arab neighbors by its "historical name."
"With the arrival of the British and later the Americans in the region, plots were hatched to try and change the name with fake identities... to distort the history and identity of the Persian Gulf," Firouzabadi said.
Zayani described the Iranian General’s remarks as “unacceptable blatant interference in the internal affairs of GCC countries, expressing complete ignorance on the region’s history, its Arab identity, and the nature of its political regimes.”
Relations between Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbors have deteriorated sharply, with the latter accusing Tehran of seeking to destabilize Arab regimes in favor of popular unrest that has erupted in many Arab countries.