Iranian official denies Saudi claim it arrested Iranian military forces

Saudi Arabia attack

Saudi Arabia attack

In a statement released on Wednesday, the interior ministry called for "the release as quickly as possible of the three fishermen".

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have always been strained with each country backing opposing sides of the war in Syria and other conflicts in the region. Saudi forces captured three of five crewmembers from one of the vessels; the remaining two escaped. Several Iranian news websites also reported that two Iranian boats were shot at over the weekend as they approached a Saudi oil rig.

"The countries agreed to establish a coordination council to upgrade relations to the hoped for strategic level and open new horizons for cooperation in different fields", said the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It said "weapons" were seized from a captured boat, but made no mention of arrests.

The accusations were refuted by Iran, who said the men captured by Saudi Arabia were "simply fishermen".

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Saudi Arabia regularly accuses Shiah-dominated Iran of interfering in Middle Eastern countries, and has suggested it is linked to instability in the kingdom's east, where minority Shiites live. Senior IRGC officials contend that Saudi sponsors were behind recent terrorist attacks in Iran's capital, which killed 17 and wounded dozens more.

Then on June 7, two prominent sites in Tehran were hit in deadly terrorist attacks that were claimed by the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS.

On Sunday Iran fired missiles into Syria, claiming it was hitting Islamic State targets in retaliation.

He said the Iranians in question were "simply fishermen" and had no types of weapons whatsoever.

It remains unclear whether Iran and Saudi Arabia referred to the same incident or not.

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