TEHRAN: Iran’s coast guard has detained two Saudi fishing vessels after they entered Iranian waters, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.
Fars did not give a date or location for the incident but said it was reported by Qalandar Lashkari, the coast guard commander at Bushehr, which is both a province and a port town. It is also the site of the only nuclear power station in the republic. Fars quoted Lashkari as saying that the two dhows were tracked and confiscated after they illegally entered Iran’s territorial waters.
All their 10 Indian crew were arrested, it said.
Initial investigations showed that the vessels were from Saudi Arabia but their captains and crews were Indian nationals, Fars said.
They had crossed into Iranian waters to fish, the agency said.
A week earlier, Fars said, forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ “second naval zone” seized another Saudi vessel and its four-strong crew after it illegally entered Iranian waters.
The vessel was later expelled, the agency said, without elaborating.
On Jan. 3, Saudi Arabia detained 21 Iranian nationals who were aboard two boats near Al Harqus island 42 kilometres off the Saudi coast, the Saudi border guard said.
Separately, Saudi authorities on Tuesday beheaded a Syrian convicted of trafficking a large amount of narcotic pills, the interior ministry said, in the first execution in the kingdom this year. Mohammed Darwish was arrested “as he was trafficking a large amount of narcotic pills into the kingdom,” the ministry said in a statement carried by official news agency SPA.