Iranian Foreign Ministry

Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador in reaction to the “interfering statements” made by a U.S. official about Abu Musa Island.

ISNA reports that the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s head of North American Affairs met with the Swiss ambassador to demand an explanation for recent statements by the deputy spokesman for the U.S. State Department, which the Foreign Ministry described as “interference” in Iran’s internal affairs.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry reportedly stressed that Abu Musa was, like all of Iran’s other islands in the Persian Gulf, an inseparable part of its territory. It also stressed that no one can contest the Iranian president’s trip to Abu Musa, which was part of a provincial tour just like any other.

Mark Toner of the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that the United States welcomes “a peaceful resolution” over the three islands and it supports the suggestion from UAE and Saudi Arabia to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice.

Toner said: “Actions such as the April 11 visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the Abu Musa Island only complicate efforts to settle the issue.”

The Swiss ambassador was summoned over these statements because, in the absence of a U.S. embassy in Iran, the Swiss Embassy handles U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic.

The UAE disputes Iran’s sovereignty over the three islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs in the Persian Gulf and wants to take the issue to The Hague.

In 1971, the UN Security Council denied the UAE attempt to dispute Iran’s sovereignty over the three Islands.

Iran maintains that its ownership of the three islands is non-negotiable but also says it’s prepared to hold talks with the UAE to clear up any misunderstandings.