Iran's president visits disputed islands

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has visited Abu Musa, a strategic Persian Gulf island also claimed by the United Arab Emirates, in the first trip by a head of state since Tehran retook possession of the island 41 years ago.

Ahmadinejad praised Iran's rich culture during the Wednesday visit but made no mention of the dispute with the UAE, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Iran took control of tiny Abu Musa and the nearby Greater and Lesser Tunb islands in 1971 after British forces left the region. The three islands dominate the approach to the Strait of Hormuz, through which about one-fifth of the world's oil supply passes.

Tehran says the islands have been part of states on the Iranian mainland from antiquity until the early 20th century.

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