Maritime Political Geography
The Persian Gulf Islands of Tunbs and Abu Musa
This book magnifies only one instance of Iran’s geopolitical role in the Persian Gulf in the interim period between the British withdrawal of forces from, and the American arrival in that region. Two centuries of Pax-Britannica was the period of territorial organization of the region, which resulted in the creation of a number of small states or emirates defining territories and boundaries for which caused huge territorial complications with the older states of the region. Pax-Britannica was removed at the end of 1971 without settling these difficult issues. Yet, immediately after their departure from the Persian Gulf, Iran began the initiative of settling territorial differences among the littoral states. Negotiations for the delimitation of maritime boundaries in the Persian Gulf which started in 1968 with Saudi Arabia continued with each and every Arab state of the region and by the mid-1970s all maritime boundaries of Iran with her Arab neighbours were settled, including legal settlement of the issue of the islands extensively examined in this book. In 1975, the age-old Iran-Iraq territorial and boundary disputes were settled in Shatt al Arab, and in the same year Iran's initiative of settling territorial disputes went beyond the region of the Persian Gulf and the Shah quelled the fire of separatist movements in Dhufar of Oman as well as intervening in Egyptian Israeli disputes and settle their differences over the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli author, Samuel Segev admits in his 1981 publications on Israeli secret relations in the Middle East that "The Shah was the originator of the idea to mediate between Anwar Sadat and Golda Meir."
Another instance of the Iranian endeavour to safeguard Arab territorial integrity was Iran's undertaking in eradication of threats to Oman's territorial integrity in the early 1970s. Within three years Iranian soldiers defended with their lives Oman's territorial integrity in Dhufar Province in the face of a fierce communist separatist movement that British forces could not eradicate in twelve years.
About the Author
Currently a visiting professor at George Washington University, Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh is a renowned Iranian political geographer and historian. He is a prominent Iranologist and an internationally respected expert on inter-state territorial and boundary disputes, especially those in the region of the Persian Gulf, as his well detailed and richly documented academic contribution to the adjudication process of the Bahrain-Qatar disputes at the International Court of Justice (judgment delivered in March 2001) proved to be a decisive factor.
Professor Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh has obtained his Ph.D. degrees in political geography and geopolitics from the universities of Oxford and London. He currently teaches geopolitics and political geography at the universities in Tehran area. He has been an advisor of the United Nations University and has published more than 20 books and book-chapters and about a hundred articles and encyclopedic entries in English, some of which are translated into other languages. His publications in Persian include more than 30 books, ten book-chapters as well as about five hundred articles, research papers and encyclopedic entries. He is a member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature and a number of other national and international academic societies. He retired from Chairmanship of the Urosevic Research Foundation of London in the year 2011.