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Official dismisses UAE criticism of Iranian MPs’ visit to Persian Gulf islands
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_mt1(71).jpgTEHRAN – Iran on Tuesday dismissed the recent remarks by the United Arab Emirates about Iranian lawmakers’ visit to Persian Gulf islands near the Strait of Hormuz. 
 
The UAE Foreign Ministry on Monday criticized Iran after a number of the members of the Iranian Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee paid a one-day visit to the three islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Sirri on April 25. 
 
The UAE has repeatedly questioned Iran’s sovereignty over the three islands of Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa and urged Tehran to agree to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague or engage in direct negotiations. 
 
During his regular press briefing in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “The visit by the Iranian delegation to the three islands is an internal issue and falls within the jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the islands will belong to Iran eternally.”  
 
However, he added that Tehran was ready to continue talks with the UAE to clear up the misunderstandings. 
 
Iran condemns Kenyan court ruling 
 
Asked about the Iranian men who were arrested and sentenced to life in prison by Kenya on terrorism charges, Mehmanparast dismissed the allegations and called on the Kenyan government to review their cases and urged their release.  
 
He added that the Iranian nationals entered Kenya on valid visas to tour the African country but were framed in a pre-planned scenario.  
 
According to Reuters, a Kenyan court sentenced two Iranian men to life in prison on Monday for planning to carry out bombings in Nairobi and other cities last year. 
 
Turkey’s military exercise near Syrian border not beneficial 
 
Mehmanparast was also asked to comment on Turkey’s military exercise near Syrian border, on which he said any mistake that would trigger conflicts in Syria would have serious consequences to the Middle East region. 
 
He also advised countries to help end the violence in the Arab country instead of “provoking military movements.”     
 
According to Reuters, the Turkish military launched a 10-day exercise at a base near the border with Syria on Monday to test the military’s readiness for battle and coordination with government ministries.
 
MT/EP

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