- - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

TEHRAN — Iran on Tuesday warned the United Arab Emirates it could cut diplomatic relations between the two countries if the Arab nation keeps repeating claims to three Gulf islands that are controlled by Tehran.

Iran took control of the Persian Gulf islands in 1971, after British forces left the region.

The islands — the tiny Abu Musa and the nearby Greater and Lesser Tunbs — dominate the approach to the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the U.S. Navy patrol the narrow waterway, which Iran had threatened to choke off in retaliation for tougher Western sanctions over its suspect nuclear program.

Since 1992, the UAE repeatedly has claimed the islands, and last month at the U.N. General Assembly, it said Iran’s “occupation” violates international law.

The news website of Iran’s parliament, ICANA.ir, quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying that Iran will either cut or reduce ties with the UAE if it repeats “anti-Iranian, baseless claims.”


Activist: Boat en route to Gaza Strip

JERUSALEM — An activist says a boat of pro-Palestinian advocates from eight countries is en route to Gaza in the latest attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade.

Dror Feiler, an Israeli activist onboard, said the boat left Naples on Sunday and aims to reach Gaza in mid-October.

He said Monday the boat is carrying items such as cement, basketballs, musical instruments and theater lighting equipment.

Israel imposed the blockade after Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in 2007.

It eased the closure in 2010 after a naval raid killed nine Turkish activists onboard another Gaza-bound flotilla.

Some restrictions, including the naval blockade, remain in place. Israel says the closure is needed to keep Hamas from obtaining weapons.

Israel has not said whether it will try to stop the boat.


ICC debating site of Gadhafi son’s trial

THE HAGUE — Libya insisted Tuesday that it should be allowed to prosecute one of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s sons, telling international judges that trying him at home will be “a unique opportunity for national reconciliation.”

Libyan lawyer Ahmed al-Jehani spoke at the start of a two-day hearing at the International Criminal Court that will go a long way to deciding where Seif al-Islam Gadhafi will be put on trial for crimes against humanity — in Libya or The Hague.

Seif al-Islam is charged by the international court with crimes against humanity for his alleged involvement in the deadly crackdown on dissent against his father’s rule.

Where he ends up being tried is not only a matter of national importance to Libya’s new rulers. It’s also of huge consequence to Seif al-Islam himself: If he were to be tried and convicted in The Hague, he could face a maximum life sentence; but if a Libyan court were to find him guilty, he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors in The Hague who originally indicted Seif al-Islam last year now also believe Libya should be given the chance to try him.


Judge among five killed in attacks

BAGHDAD — Shootings and bombings in central and north Iraq on Tuesday left five people dead, including a judge and the bodyguard of a lawmaker, security and medical officials said.

In the main northern city of Mosul, 220 miles north of Baghdad, Judge Abbas al-Abadi was killed as he was leaving his home.

In Tal Afar, near Mosul, two members of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party were killed when a roadside bomb struck their car.

Just south of Baghdad near the town of Mussayeb, a bodyguard of lawmaker Ali Alaq was ambushed by gunmen who killed him before fleeing the scene.

In East Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on the car of police Brig. Gen. Shaaker Mahmud. A security official said the vehicle’s driver was killed.

Violence in Iraq is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but deadly attacks remain common.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide