Conflicts over the construction of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf

Artificial islands are appearing in the Persian Gulf. Some of the states in the Persian Gulf area are planning to expand their territories by establishing cluster of artificial islands. Dubai is a forerunner in this field and many other small and at the same time rich states in the Persian Gulf may start going in the same direction.

International laws

According to the international law of the Sea (as a branch of the public international law), the territorial sea (or coastal sea) of the states surrounding the Persian Gulf (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates or the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, and Oman) is convert|12|nmi|km|0, and outside of that there is a Contagious Zone of the same width and the rest is the EEZ or Exclusive Economic Zone. In other words, there is no Res Communis or part of the High Sea that is not a part of the EEZ in the Persian Gulf. This means that no other state, except than the coastal states, can establish artificial islands in the Persian Gulf.http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_19044.shtml] According to the law of the sea in general and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in particular, artificial islands have little legal implications, especially as far as the measurement of the maritime zones are concerned. The Artificial Islands are not considered as permanent harbor works. This means that: the coastal state can not claim the same rights that have been provided for the permanent harbor works in the determination of the baseline and measurement of maritime zones.

Political issues

Iran has seen the emergence of artificial islands in the Persian gulf as a threat. Some countries of the region are in a process to grant the control of these islands to the United States. Iran sees the emergence of possible American island in its territory as a threat to its security. [ [http://www.baztab.ir/news/56336.php جزاير مصنوعي امارات و تهديد مرزي آينده! ] ]

Environmental issues

Persian Gulf is a semi-landlocked sea with a great deal of sensitivities, stressing that the existence of important ecosystems like Herra forests have added to the ecological significance of the sea.

In August 2006, Iran's Department of the Environment (DoE) has reacted to the construction by United Arab Emirates of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian officials further noted that the department has lobbied with international organizations regarding mechanisms to prevent further environmental damage to the Persian Gulf by littoral states in such the way that political tensions are avoided. [ [http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-235/0608056833200220.htm DoE reacts to UAE Persian Gulf constructions - Irna ] ]

The Regional Organization for Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) which is based in Kuwait has been established in 1979 to look after the pollution and other environmental problems of Persian Gulf. Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are members of the ROPME.

ee also

*The World Islands
* [Palm Islands]

Notes

External links

* [http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_19044.shtml Artificial Islands in the Persian Gulf and the International Law of the Sea]
* [http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0823-tina_butler_dubai.html Dubai's artificial islands have high environmental cost]


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