The Saudi coast guard has arrested 14 Iranians trying to infiltrate on an Iranian boat. The official Saudi version of the incident denied reports the Iranians were carrying weapons and claimed they got lost on their way to Kuwait.
The boat, captained by an Iranian, dropped off 13 passengers on the shore near the northeastern border with Kuwait.
“Coast guard boats chased the boat that dropped them and his driver was arrested. The boat is Iranian (registered) and the man who drove it is an Iranian national,” said spokesman Colonel Khaled al-Arqubi.
Saudi Arabia has thwarted several attempts by foreigners to carry out terrorist attacks, and the oil-rich kingdom is known to be highly concerned over the prospect of a nuclear Iran. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly stated it wants to establish an Islamic state throughout the Middle East.
Saudi investigators are questioning the Iranians, but an official version immediately rejected notices on social websites that the boat was filled with ammunition and communications equipment. One report on the Internet asserted that one of the men is a commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The Saudi daily Al-Qabas, quoting Saudi security sources, immediately said the arrested men were not linked with terror cells.
The Iranian Fars News Agency, controlled by the regime, quoted news agency reports according to which a Saudi minister said, "During the interrogations, they (Iranian detainees) said they were heading for Kuwait in search of jobs, but the owner of the boat brought them to Saudi Arabia.”
The arrests coincide with the season of Muslim Hajj rituals, and 75,000 Iranian pilgrims already are in Saudi Arabia.