Reuters Report Iran seized a United Arab Emirates-registered ship violating its territorial waters this week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, adding that UAE coastguards killed two Iranian fishermen on the same day.
Tensions have risen between the two countries, which face each other across the Gulf, since last week’s agreement between the Gulf state and Tehran’s arch-foe Israel to normalise ties.
Iranian state television quoted a ministry statement as saying that the Emirati ship was seized by Iran’s coastguards and its crew were detained due to illegal traffic in Iranian waters.
It added that on the same day, UAE guards shot dead two Iranian fishermen and seized a boat. It said the UAE has apologised for the incident.
The UAE Foreign Ministry declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
The Iranian statement said Iran summoned the UAE charge d’affaires in Tehran after the incident to demand the release of the detained boat and the fishermen.
“As a result of Iran’s efforts, the UAE authorities … in a note on Wednesday, expressed their deep regret over the incident and announced their readiness to compensate for all the damage caused,” it said.
The Iranian boat and its crew have been released, the statement said, while the legal process of transferring the bodies of the dead is underway.
UAE state news agency WAM reported on Monday that the state’s coastguards had tried to stop eight fishing boats which violated its territorial waters northwest of Sir Bu Nu’Ayr island. It did not mention any casualties or seizures of a boat.
Although incidents regarding fishing boats are frequent between Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbours, Iran warned of any aggression against its interests and citizens”, saying in the statement, “Tehran will take all necessary measures to protect its vessels and citizens in the Persian Gulf”.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has detained a Panama-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was carrying 300,000 liters of illegal oil, local media report.
The 10 foreign crew members were detained and the case was handed over to prosecutors in the port city of Parsian, the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted an IRGC spokesman as saying on November 20.
The report did not give the nationality of the crew members or other details of the incident.
Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the fall of its national currency, has been fighting fuel smuggling to neighboring countries.
An estimated 10 million liters of fuel are smuggled from Iran every day, according to Iranian media reports.