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The Map Room

THE ISLANDS - Lesser Tunb


Lesser Tunb is one of two rocky islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates that lie close to the Straits of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf. It was invaded by Iran in November 1971, and remains under Iranian occupation. The UAE has offered to hold bilateral talks on ownership of the island or to submit the issue to international arbitration, but Iran has refused.

It was described by a British marine survey of the Gulf in the 1820s as: "an island rather less than Great Tomb, appears at first in hummocks, is barren, and uninhabited."

Nothing is recorded of its wildlife, although it probably provided a roosting and nesting site for seabirds in the past. Lacking fresh water or a good anchorage, it was probably visited infrequently by fishermen and for grazing of livestock after winter rainfall.