Iran detains UAE-registered ship, its crew

Iran detains UAE-registered ship, its crew
Iran’s state TV quoted a ministry statement as saying that the Emirati ship was seized by Iran’s coast guards and its crew were detained due to illegal traffic in Iranian waters. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 August 2020

Iran detains UAE-registered ship, its crew

Iran detains UAE-registered ship, its crew
  • US demands restoration of sanctions against Tehran
  • Expert: Lifting of arms embargo will embolden regime

JEDDAH: Iran seized a UAE-registered ship violating its territorial waters this week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, adding that UAE coast guards killed two Iranian fishermen on the same day.
Iran’s state TV quoted a ministry statement as saying that the Emirati ship was seized by Iran’s coast guards and its crew were detained due to illegal traffic in Iranian waters.
It added that on the same day, UAE guards shot dead two Iranian fishermen and seized a boat. It said the UAE has apologized for the incident.
The UAE Foreign Ministry refused to comment when contacted by Reuters. The Iranian statement said Iran summoned the UAE charge d’affaires in Tehran after the incident to demand the release of the detained boat and the fishermen.
“As a result of Iran’s efforts, the UAE authorities ... in a note on Wednesday, expressed their deep regret over the incident and announced their readiness to compensate for all the damage caused,” it said.
The Iranian boat and its crew have been released, the statement said, while the legal process of transferring the bodies of the dead is underway.
UAE state news agency WAM reported on Monday that the state’s coast guard had tried to stop eight fishing boats which violated its territorial waters northwest of Sir Bu Nu’Ayr island. It did not mention any casualties or seizures of a boat.
Meanwhile, the US will demand that all UN sanctions be reimposed against Iran, President Donald Trump has announced.
“Two years ago I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, which was a product of the Obama-Biden foreign policy failure — a failure like few people have seen in terms of the amount of money we paid for absolutely nothing and a short-term deal,” Trump said. He pledged that under his administration, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.
“If and when I win the election, within the first month, Iran will come to us and they are going to be asking for a deal so quickly because they are doing very poorly,” he said, adding that sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy and limited the amount of money it can use to support militant groups.
Trump said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to New York to present the US demand to reimpose the sanctions, accusing Iran of significant noncompliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist, told Arab News that Iran’s leaders believe they scored a major political victory against the US, its allies and regional powers when the UN Security Council last week voted down a proposal to extend the 13-year-old arms embargo on Tehran, which is due to expire in October.
“The lifting of the arms embargo on the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism will further help the Iranian regime advance its military adventurism and arm terror and militia groups with advanced weapons. This is a dangerous threat to regional and global stability, and it will likely trigger a regional arms race,” he added.
Separately, Iran’s state TV reported the country unveiled two new missiles named after Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, who were killed outside Baghdad’s international airport in a US strike in January.