Ante el silencio más o menos generalizado de la prensa occidental, Irán salió ayer a contestar las acusaciones de Arabia Saudita sobre un supuesto complot contra plataformas off shore de este último país como respuesta a los atentados de Teherán de la semana pasada. Las dos notas que siguen son de la agencia iraní de noticias PressTV:
Título: Saudi guards open fire on Iranian boats in Persian Gulf, kill fisherman
Texto: Saudi Arabia’s coastguard has opened fire on Iranian fishing boats in the waters south of Iran, killing a fisherman, a senior border official of the Islamic Republic says.
The incident happened after two Iranian boats fishing in the Persian Gulf strayed from their course due to big sea waves, the Iranian Interior Ministry’s director general for border affairs Majid Aqa-Babaei said on Saturday.
“Accordingly and without establishing whether the Iranian boats had crossed Saudi borders, the coastguard of this country opened fire on the Iranian boats and an Iranian fisherman was killed due to a bullet hitting him in the waist,” he added.
“This Saudi move is not compatible with human principles and even assuming that the boats had crossed Saudi borders due to sea waves, they were not authorized to shoot at the Iranian boats,” the official said.
Aqa-Babaei noted that the Islamic Republic is following up on the issue to determine whether the boats had entered Saudi territorial waters.
“This move by the Saudis was incompatible with human and maritime principles,” he reiterated.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia worsened after a deadly human crush occurred during Hajj rituals in Mina, near Mecca in September 2015.
Islamic Republic officials blamed the incompetence of Saudi officials for the incident, which, according to Iran, killed 4,700 people, including 465 Iranian nationals.
Earlier that same month, a massive construction crane had collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 pilgrims, including 11 Iranians, and injuring over 200 others, among them 32 Iranian nationals.
Mutual ties deteriorated further when Riyadh executed prominent Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in January 2016. Saudi Arabia unilaterally severed its diplomatic ties with Iran after protests in front of its diplomatic premises in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad against Nimr’s execution.
Título: Iran official denies Saudi claim about arresting IRGC members
Texto: An official with the Iranian Interior Ministry has denied a claim by Saudi Arabia that Riyadh has arrested three members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Majid Aqa-Babaei, the ministry’s director general for border affairs, told the Young Journalists Club on Monday, that, “Saudi Arabia’s claim about the arrest of Iranian military forces is not true.”
Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia’s information ministry said in a statement that Saudi forces had captured and were questioning “three IRGC members, who were intending to carry out an attack on a major offshore oilfield in the Persian Gulf,” according to an Associated Press report.
“The three were onboard [sic] 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,” the report read.
Aqa-Babaei had on Saturday said that the Saudi coastguard had opened fire on Iranian fishing boats in the waters south of Iran, killing one fisherman.
Saudi Arabia, too, had reported the incident soon after it happened but had not made the claims about arrests and explosives. It offered a changed narrative, however, with the information ministry statement, which came some two days after the initial narrative.
In his Monday remarks, Aqa-Babaei referred to the new allegation about the arrests and said, “This issue has to do with the same two fishing boats” that had been shot at.
He said the Iranians in question were “simply fishermen” and had no types of weapons whatsoever.
In a separate interview with the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) on Monday, Aqa-Babaei confirmed that three Iranians — all known fishermen from the southern Iranian city of Bushehr — had been taken into custody by the Saudi coastguard.
Riyadh has severed its diplomatic ties with Tehran. Therefore, Iran’s Foreign Ministry has been following up on the issue through indirect diplomatic channels.
Observers say Saudi rulers have interpreted US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Riyadh as some kind of a green light to pursue their policies more aggressively.
The killing of the Iranian fisherman and the arrest of the other three came following that trip and also after Saudi Arabia led a group of its vassal states in cutting ties with Qatar. While the Saudi-led bloc of countries have accused Doha of sponsoring terrorism, most observers say the severance of ties and an accompanying economic war on Qatar have to do with the fact that Doha pursues its relations with Iran more independently of Riyadh.
A Saudi minister said last month that his country would work to move “the battle” to Iran. Another Saudi minister said on June 6 that Iran had to be “punished” for what he called interference in the region. Hours later, two terrorist attacks hit the Iranian capital, Tehran, killing 18 people and wounding 50 other people. Daesh said it had carried out the attacks.