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Hormozgan Gov: Project to turn Abu Moussa to tourism pole approved

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Bandar Abbas, April 30, IRNA -- Governor of Hormozgan province said here Monday project on turning Iranian Abu Moussa Island to a tourism pole according to government ratification has been prepared and its executive phase would begin in near future.

Ebrahim Azizi who was speaking with the IRNA correspondent during the Provincial Administrative Council members’ visit of Abu Moussa added, “After the full implementation of this project Abu Moussa Island would become a serious competitor for the other tourism poles in the region.”

The top government official in Hormozgan province meanwhile informed IRNA of the establishment of Abu Moussa Island Assistant Headquarters, reiterating, “This headquarters has begun its activities in the presence of top provincial managers.”

According to the governor of Hormozgan, “With to the establishment of the Assistance Headquarters of Abu Moussa Island the managers are expected to work at a much easier atmosphere and to pursue to completion of the infrastructures in Abu Moussa smoothly, assisting the rapid development of that island.”

The Administrative Council of Hormozgan Province met in Abu Moussa Island on Monday.

Abu Musa is a 12.8 sq km island, part of Hormozgan province of Iran. Located in the eastern Persian Gulf, it is part of a six-island archipelago near the entrance to the Strait of Hormoz.

Abu Moussa's inhabitants call it 'Gap-sabzu' (Persian‎), which in Persian means 'the great green place.' On old maps, the island is called: 'Boum-Ouw' (Persian‎) or 'Boum-Ouf' (Persian) which in Persian means 'Water Land'.

But in recent century it is also called Bum Musa, Persian for 'the land of Musa/Moses' instead of 'Boum-Sou'.

As of 2012, the island had about 2,131 inhabitants, making it Iran's smallest county. The city of Abu Moussa had 1,953 inhabitants in 2012, up 248 from 2006.

Abu Moussa Island is 75 km from Iran’s Bandar Lengeh port city and 16 km from the strategic Strait of Hormuz. It is the farthest island (out of 14 islands of Hormozgan) from the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf. It's 46 m above the sea. The highest place is the 110-meter Halva Mountain. Abu Moussa city is the center of the island. The weather in Abu Musa is warm and humid, although, compared to the place in the Persian Gulf, Abu Musa has a better climate and the most diverse ecosystem, but it lacks suitable soil and water for farming leaving fishing as the main industry for locals. It is one of the main ports for exporting oil from Iran. Due to the depth of sea, oil tankers and big ships, have to pass between Abu Moussa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs; this makes these islands one of the most strategic points for Iran in the Persian Gulf.

The ownership of Iran on Abu Moussa has been disputed by UAE. The dispute between Iran and UAE started in 1974, three years after the latter's establishment. The island had been under Persian control until the early 20th century. After 1908, the UK controlled the island along with the other British-held islands in the Persian Gulf, including what is today the UAE. In the late 1960s, Britain transferred administration of the island to the British-appointed Sharjah, one of the seven sheikdoms that would later form the UAE.

A map from 1891 shows Abu Moussa being part of Iran then.

In 1980, the UAE took its claim to the United Nations. But it was rejected by the UN Security Council, and the issue was closed. In the same year, Saddam Hussein attempted to justify the Iran-Iraq War by claiming that one of the objectives was to 'liberate' Abu Moussa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs in the Persian Gulf. In 1992, Iran expelled foreign workers who operated the UAE-sponsored school, medical clinic, and power-generating station. In 2012 a visit to the island by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked a diplomatic incident. Iran's historical claim to ownership over the islands roots back to the Parthian and Sassanid Empires, among others. Iran conceders the island to have been occupied by the UK and refers to the agreement between Iran and emirate of Sharjah at 1971.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80105603

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