TEHRAN, March 1 (Xinhua) -- A senior Iranian military official said the construction of islands in the Persian Gulf by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is illegal, the English language Press TV reported on Tuesday.
Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a senior military adviser, described the UAE's measure to construct man-made islands in the Persian Gulf without the approval of other coastal countries as "illegal," the report said.
"The UAE has breached international law," Safavi said, adding any coastal country is required to inform other littoral states of any decision to construct artificial islands and get their approval before they start to do so.
The construction of man-made islands by the UAE will reduce by 10 km the distance between the UAE and the Iranian island of Abu Musa and thus could change the water borders in the Persian Gulf, he was quoted by Press TV as saying.
Through constructing such islands, the UAE seeks to pursue the expansion of its territorial waters legally and to gain support of extra-regional powers in its claim, Safavi said.
The construction of such islands will unbalance the ecosystem of the region, he added.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the construction of such islands could have security as well as ecological consequences for the region, Press TV said.