Book on dispute between UAE and Iran over islands launched in Abu Dhabi

Author Sheikh Khalid is praised for the thoroughness of his research into the dispute as he aims to tell the story from both sides.

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ABU DHABI // A book on the dispute between the UAE and Iran over three invaded islands was launched on Friday.

The Three Islands: Mapping the UAE-Iran Dispute was launched by Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, the President’s Representative, and its author Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ahead of another launch in London next week.

Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs were occupied by Iran when the British left on the eve of the formation of the UAE, on November 30, 1971.

Sir Harold Walker, former British ambassador to the UAE, and Prof Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute in London – publisher of the book – were also at the launch, the state news agency Wam reported.

Sir Harold and Prof Clarke praised Sheikh Khalid, who was recently awarded a PhD by King’s College London, for the thoroughness of his research.

In a speech to an invited audience, Sheikh Khalid said 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 resolved, as this would require a change in Iranian attitudes.

Sheikh Khalid recommended further engagement by the US and other prominent members of the international community.

“It may take some time but history suggests that the combination of understanding and patience can be surprisingly effective,” he said.