Iran says its military forces are prepared to defend Abu Musa Island against UAE claims if a diplomatic solution can’t be found.

The Mehr News Agency reports that Iranian Commander General Ahmadreza Pourdastan said on Wednesday: “We will not allow any grabs, and if such mischievousness is not resolved diplomatically we will establish the force of our system to any invasive state.”

Ramin Mehmanparst, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, also stressed: “Iran’s ownership of the three islands is a given and is not up for negotiation.”

The three islands of Abu Musa together with the Greater and the Lesser Tunbs were returned to Iran after Britain left the region in 1971, when the United Arab Emirates was also established as a state.

The UAE claimed ownership of the islands, but in 1971, the United Nations Security Council rejected that claim.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent trip to Abu Musa triggered this recent dispute, with UAE and its Arab allies calling on Iran to resolve it.