Saudi Arabia says it forced three Iranian boats out of its waters with warning shots
The official spokesperson of Saudi Arabia’s boarder guard said: “On Thursday, Maritime Border Guard patrols detected three Iranian boats that entered Saudi waters. They were immediately followed, and repeated warnings were issued for them to stop, but they refused to respond,” state news agency SPA reported.
“According to protocols for such cases where the (trespassing party) refuses to stop, warning shots were fired, which resulted in them being forced to retreat,” the spokesman said.
The Saudi official stressed that the border guard will never allow any transgressions in the Kingdom’s waters.
“#Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (#IRGC-QF) to provide support to terrorist organizations, cover associated covert operations, and create instability in the region,” a report released by the US State Department says.https://t.co/1SWvhCMgcV— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) June 24, 2020
Maritime tensions in the Gulf
There have been many incidents in recent months when Iranian vessels have come close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, with Washington describing the incidents as "dangerous and provocative."
Iran also recently issued a statement claiming it was ready to destroy US warships if they threatened Iranian ships.
In 2019, tensions in the region's waters hightened after a series of attacks on oil tankers. One of those involved two Saudi oil tankers which where attacked in the Gulf. The US and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran, while Tehran denied the charge.
In June 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he discussed with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s refusal to cooperate is separate from the JCPOA; this is all about whether Iran is honoring its own legally binding safeguards obligations. If Iran fails to cooperate with its IAEA obligations, the international community must be prepared to take further action. pic.twitter.com/z61Fu2jtnf— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 26, 2020