Iran calls on Riyadh to free Saudi-detained 'fishermen'

Tehran urges Saudi Arabia to release the three Iranians and pay compensation for shooting dead another.

    Iran calls on Riyadh to free Saudi-detained 'fishermen'

    Iran has urged regional rival Saudi Arabia to free three Iranian fishermen, pay compensation for shooting dead a sailor and punish those behind an "irresponsible act", Fars news agency reported on Thursday.

    Iranian media reported last week that Saudi border guards had opened fire on Iranian fishing boats in the Gulf, killing a fisherman.

    The Saudi Information Ministry said three of its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members had been arrested aboard an explosive-laden boat near an oil platform in the Gulf.

    "It is clear this was intended to be a terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters designed to cause severe damage to people and property," the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

    Iran denied the Saudi claim, saying the three were fishermen and were not arrested aboard an explosive-laden boat as claimed by Riyadh.

    "The fishermen were not armed ... Saudi guards killed one of the sailors by opening fire on the boats," the semi-official news agency said, quoting a statement published by Iran's Interior Ministry on Thursday.

    "Those detained fishermen should be freed ... compensation should be paid for the one killed and those involved in the irresponsible act should be punished."

    READ MORE: Iran denies Saudi claim of Revolutionary Guards' arrest

    The Iranian interior ministry statement also said the three fishing boats had legal documents and departed Iran's southern port of Bushehr for fishing but lost their way.

    "Shooting at fishing boats is against the humanitarian and Islamic norms," it said.

    "One group of the fishermen could steer their boat back onto the main course, but the two other boats were driven towards the shared sea borders with Saudi Arabia, unaware of their situation or unable to control the vessels," it said.

    Shia-dominated Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia accuse each other of fomenting tension in the Middle East, where the two arch rivals back opposite sides in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.