After two joint anti-Iranian statements from China and Saudi Arabia about Iran’s regional activities and the islands of Abu Musa, Iranian officials rejected both statements with a harsh and decisive language.
This Friday and during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia, the two countries issued a joint statement in which they asked Iran not to interfere in the internal affairs of other neighboring countries.
The statement also demanded the Islamic Republic to respect the principle of good neighborliness. Addressing Iran’s nuclear program, the two sides also asked for Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear conducts.
“The leaders stressed the need to support the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the GCC region, and ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program to preserve regional and international security and stability,” the statement read.
In yet another provocative move, China and the GCC countries adopted a joint action of plan aimed at bolstering strategic cooperation, including affirming their support for regional issues. This included a statement in which Beijing and GCC members reaffirmed the claims by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which demand for the resolution of the long-standing dispute about the islands in the Persian Gulf region.
“The leaders affirmed their support for…all endeavors of the United Arab Emirates to reach a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands; Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, through bilateral negotiations in accordance with the rules of international law…” the statement read.
Iran reacts to both statements in words and action
In reaction to China and Saudi Arabia’s controversial comments on Iran’s regional activities as well as Tehran’s nuclear program, Iranian officials rebuked the two sides.
Mohammad Jamshidi, the Political Deputy of the President of Iran, for example, wrote a tweet and rebuked the statement; “A reminder to colleagues in Beijing. While Saudi along with the US backed ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Syria and brutalized Yemen, Iran fought terrorist groups to restore regional stability and security and to prevent the spread of insecurity toward both East and West.” Jamshid wrote this Friday evening.
Likewise, Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, dismissed the China-GCC statement regarding the islands; “The islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb in the Persian Gulf are inseparable parts of the pure land of Iran and belong to this motherland forever,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday. He also noted that Iran “will not allow anyone to violate its territorial integrity.”
Last but not least, Iran even further reacted and summoned the Chinese ambassador to Tehran late Saturday to protest the anti-Iranians statements. In this regard, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Chang Hua was summoned to express “strong dissatisfaction with the joint statement of China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries about Iran’s islands”.
The irony about the two recent statements is that both China and the UAE have been looking forward to improving relations with Iran. Iran and China have emerged as close regional allies in recent years, especially after entering into a long-term comprehensive 25-year-lomng partnership amid tensions with the US.
Likewise, the UAE reopened its embassy and sent its ambassador to Tehran in late August more than six years after the two countries downgraded ties. At the time of the opening of the embassy, the UAE’s Foreign Ministry said that the move was in line with efforts to bolster ties with Iran “to achieve the common interests of the two countries and the wider region”.