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Political relations throughout the Middle East seem to be worsening on an almost daily basis. One situation of particular concern is the deteriorating relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The Shi’ite Muslims of Iran are separated from the Sunni Muslims of Saudi Arabia by just 250km of Gulf waters, and after months of squabbling the latest episode has seen Iran accuse Saudi Arabia of exploring for oil and gas in these prohibited border regions.
Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman from the Iranian Foreign Ministry, mentioned that “apparently Saudi Arabia has taken action for exploration activities in prohibited border areas.” He advised that “the necessary notices were given, and our country's point of view and our commitment to border agreements were conveyed to the Saudi ambassador in Tehran.”
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Just last week Abdullah al-Mualimi, the Saudi UN ambassador, wrote to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to complain of “Iran's breaches of the official conventions and treaties between itself and Saudi Arabia.” He was referring to the incident when two Iranian naval ships intercepted a clearly marked vessel belonging to Saudi Aramco.
As always in arguments, neither side agrees with the accounts of the other, and so Mehmanparast claimed that “the violation that has taken place was on the part of Saudi companies and if this issue is to be followed up, they must be questioned. The discussion about water border limits between Iran and Saudi Arabia is subject to international laws and documents between the two countries.”
Earlier in the month Iran detained a Saudi Arabian fishing boat that had entered its southern waters, and the month before the Saudi’s arrested 15 Iranians trying to smuggle themselves into Saudi Arabia via boat.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com