Iran Urges Saudi Arabia to Free Arrested Fishermen

Iran Urges Saudi Arabia to Free Arrested Fishermen

Iran’s Interior Ministry has urged Riyadh to release the arrested Iranian fishermen immediately.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Iran’s Interior Ministry has stressed that the two Iranian boats which were recently stranded near the Saudi borders were fishing ones and the Saudi government is required to compensate for the damage and punish those who were behind this irresponsible act.

“On June 15, three fishing boats with a legal identity and fishing permit left the port of Bushehr in south of Iran heading to the Persian Gulf waters. While fishing at night, they lose control due to big sea waves and unintentionally strayed away from their main course,” the statement reads.

“Finally, one of the boats succeeds in gaining control and floats in the main direction, but with the pressure of turbulent waters the two others were driven off towards the common maritime borders with Saudi Arabia while they were not aware of being at maritime boundaries. And if they were, it was not possible to control the boats.”

The statement stresses that “unfortunately, at that time the coast guard of Saudi Arabia opened fire on the Iranian fishing boat and an Iranian fisherman named ‘Mahmoud Samir’ was killed due to a bullet hitting him in the waist. The other sailor, Farhad Siamir (son of the victim) managed to move the boat away from the place and then to the beach.”

“The second boat with three sailors named Hossein Aslani, Sohrab Aslani and Hossein Zarei, was seized by the Saudi coast guard,” the statement adds.

The statement stresses that the three boats were merely fishing ones which have been stranded and displaced by sea waves, which is quite common in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

“Every year, dozens of fishing vessels belonging to neighboring countries may unpredictably enter the territorial waters due to a lack of signs on the borderline. For example, since mid-April till June 15th seventeen fishing boats belonging to the neighbour states have entered the waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf and they were all handed over to their countries in good faith; however, shooting at fishing boats is against the humanitarian and Islamic principles,” the statement says.

Elsewhere in the statement, Iran’s Interior Ministry also reminded the Saudi government of its legal responsibilities, urging them to compensate for the damage, punish the perpetrators of this irresponsible act, and immediately release the arrested ones whose families are extremely worried about their health.

On Tuesday,  Saudi Arabia’s information ministry said in a statement that Saudi coast guard had captured and were questioning “three members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), who were intending to carry out an attack on a major offshore oilfield in the Persian Gulf,” according to an Associated Press report.

They also claimed that three were onboard a boat carrying a large number of explosives headed toward the Marjan oil field, located off the kingdom’s eastern shores between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

But the Iranian Interior Ministry has denied the allegations, saying the Riyadh’s claim about the arrest of Iranian military forces is not true.

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