Saudi coast guard fires at Iranian fishermen
The Saudi coast guard has fired at a number of Iranian fishermen whose boat or boats had inadvertently strayed into the Arab country’s territorial waters, local officials say.
The incident happened after two Iranian boats fishing in the Persian Gulf strayed from their course due to big sea waves.
The Saudi coast guard arrested three Iranian fishermen in that incident, and kept them in jail for more than a year.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia first soured after a deadly human crush during the Hajj rituals in September 2015, when hundreds of Iranian pilgrims among others lost their lives.
Tensions further escalated a few months later following the kingdom's execution of prominent Shia Cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Riyadh cut off diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016 following angry protests in front of its diplomatic premises in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad against the execution.
Ever since breaking its ties with Iran, the kingdom has ramped up its negative rhetoric against the Islamic Republic over its role in the region.