Iran seizes Saudi fishing boats as tensions escalate

Iran has seized two fishing vessels after they allegedly entered their waters, as tensions are high between the two countries

Traditional Persian Gulf (bandari) ships, in Bushehr province Photo: ALAMY

Iran has seized two fishing vessels after they allegedly entered their waters, as tensions are high between the two countries

(SOURCE)  The Iranian coast guard has seized two Saudi fishing vessels after they entered Iran’s territorial waters, a local coast guard official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, the coast guard deployed in the country’s southern waters came to spot two vessels in Iran’s protected waters,” Qalandar Lashkari, commander of the Bushehr province coast guard, told the Fars news agency.

He said the two vessels were fishing illegally in Iranian waters under Saudi flags. The nine sailors of various nationalities on board were arrested, he said.

Relations are tense between Shi’ite Muslim power Iran and Sunni Muslim-led Saudi Arabia, and seizures of vessels accused of straying into one another’s waters occur a few times a year.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of fomenting unrest among Shi’ites in its oil-rich Eastern Province, and Riyadh fears Tehran’s nuclear work is a cover for an atomic weapons program. Iran denies both charges.

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