Saudi navy intercepts Iranian boat, captures elite force members

Three captured belong to Revolutionary Guard, intended to use explosives for ‘terrorist act’, says Riyadh.

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Mordechai Sones,

Member of Royal Saudi Navy looks at warship
Member of Royal Saudi Navy looks at warship
צילום: REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

The Saudi navy has captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards from a boat seized last week as the vessel approached Saudi Arabia’s offshore Marjan oilfield, according to official Riyadh sourced quoted in the Guardian.

“This was one of three vessels which were intercepted by Saudi forces. It was captured with the three men on board, the other two escaped,” the Saudi Information Ministry said in a statement today (Monday).

“The three captured members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are now being questioned by Saudi authorities,” it said, citing a Saudi official.

The vessel, which was seized last Friday, was carrying explosives and the those captured intended to conduct a “terrorist act” in Saudi territorial waters, it claimed.

An earlier report from the Saudi Press Agency said the Saudi navy had fired warning shots at two boats that managed to escape.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency said on Saturday that Saudi border guards opened fire on an Iranian fishing boat in the Gulf on Friday, killing a fisherman. It said the boat was one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by turbulent waters.

UPDATE: Iran denies the captured individuals are IRGC members; they say they are fishermen.