Iran detains 2 Saudi fishing boats for allegedly entering territorial waters in latest dispute

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An Iranian news agency says two Saudi fishing vessels have been seized after allegedly entering Iranian waters in the latest dispute over maritime boundaries between Iran and Gulf Arab states.

Fishing boats and other craft are occasionally held for apparent violations of territorial limits in the Gulf, but the disputes are usually ended quickly. Saudi Arabia and Iran are main regional rivals and any conflicts have the potential to escalate.

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported Wednesday that nine fishermen from various nations were on the two vessels detained off Bushehr province. No other details were given.

Fars quoted a Coast Guard commander, Qalandar Lashkari, as saying an investigation was underway.

In January, Saudi Arabia detained 21 Iranians on two commercial boats that allegedly ended Saudi waters.