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Iran 'annexes' disputed island

ABU DHABI (Reuter) - Iran had effectively annexed Abu Musa, a small Gulf island it jointly controlled with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the past 20 years, and was refusing to compromise, Gulf diplomats said. The island is half-way between the UAE and the Iranian coast.

Iranian police on Abu Musa turned back a passenger ferry last week after holding it in port for three days. This was the first interference with civilian traffic since Iranians were allowed on the island in 1971 under an agreement negotiated by Britain, then in charge of the foreign relations of the seven states which later formed the UAE.