SANA’A, YEMEN (1:03 P.M.) – Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that its naval forces had arrested three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) when they seize their boat on Friday night. The boat apparently approached the Marjan oilfield off the coast of the Kingdom; Iran provided a different story.
The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information said in a statement: “This was one of three boats intercepted by the Saudi forces, which were seized with three men on board while the other two escaped.”
“The Saudi authorities are now interrogating the three detained members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps,” the statement said.
The Saudi Press Agency media outlet quoted an official source as saying that three boats carrying a white and red flag entered Saudi Arabia’s territorial waters on Friday night.
For its part, Iran denied that the vessels belonged to the IRGC, stressing that a vessel belong to Iranian fishermen which entered Saudi territorial waters inadvertently. Iran denounced the shooting and resulting death of one of the Iranian nationals.
Iran’s state news agency, Fars, quoted Iran’s Attorney General of the province of Bushehr, southern Iran, Ali Hassan, saying that Saudi Arabia violated regional norms and international laws by launching fire on the boat.
On Monday, the Iranian Interior Ministry commented on Saudi claims about the three soldiers being alleged IRGC members, saying that they were “absolutely not true.”
The ministry added that “the incident concerns two fishing boats which were shot at on Friday evening,” adding that “the people on board were only fishermen and the boats were for fishing.”