AFP: Iran has arrested the crew on three Emirati boats it has seized for illegal entry and fishing in its territorial waters in the Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday. TEHRAN, June 26, 2007 (AFP) – Iran has arrested the crew on three Emirati boats it has seized for illegal entry and fishing in its territorial waters in the Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.
“Three boats were seized today at 9:00 am (0530 GMT) by the coast guards 17 (nautical) miles from Abu Musa towards Bandar Lenge,” the head of Hormozgan province fisheries, Musa Badiee, told Fars.
“Seventeen Indians and six Emiratis were arrested for illegal entry into Iranian waters and illegal fishing,” he added.
On May 1, the United Arab Emirates arrested 12 Iranian divers who were working on a sunken ship 18 nautical miles off the disputed Abu Musa island in Gulf waters in southern Iran.
Abu Musa and the islands of Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb are the centre of a maritime dispute between the UAE and Iran. The islands were seized by Tehran after British forces left the Gulf region in 1971 but are claimed by Abu Dhabi.
In June, Iran detained three Finnish nationals for entering Iranian waters by mistake during a fishing trip in the Gulf. The men were released after five days.
In March, Iranian naval forces seized 15 British sailors and marines in the Gulf, claiming they had entered Iran’s territorial waters. Britain insisted they had been engaged in anti-smuggling operations in Iraqi waters.
The group was freed after two weeks in captivity by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.