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Qatar Admits Falsity of Claims on Iran

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, March 31 (ICANA) – Following Qatar's dismissal of reports about the capture of two arms-laden Iranian boats, Iran's Ambassador to Doha Abdollah Sohrabi says Qatar reaffirmed that such claims are “sheer lies.”
Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:08:56 PM
Qatar Admits Falsity of Claims on Iran

“Qatari officials understood that claims by certain spiteful media about the seizure of Iranian boats which were carrying weapons en route to Bahrain are sheer lies,” Sohrabi told IRNA on Tuesday.

The reports came after the Kuwaiti electronic newspaper Al-Aan reported on Sunday that two Iranian boats had been intercepted off the Al-Zubara coast, northeast of Qatar, where the territorial waters of Bahrain and Qatar converge.

However, Qatar's Interior Ministry described the reports as baseless.

"The reports about the seizure in territorial waters of two Iranian boats loaded with weapons are inaccurate," the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) quoted a statement by an official source at the Interior Ministry as saying.

Sohrabi pointed out that Iranian boats - Sadaf and Shabahang - with 16 fishermen were fishing in a rough sea on March 24, but “They entered Qatar's territorial waters because there is no distinct demarcation between the two countries.”

“It is a natural reaction by a marine guard of every country to capture boats which make illegal entrance,” the Iranian ambassador further explained.

He noted that the Iranian fishermen were investigated in a Qatari court in the presence of a lawyer and a representative of Iran's Embassy in Doha and said the verdict would be issued on April 7.

Iran has been accused of fuelling tension in Shia-majority Bahrain after anti-government protests against the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty began in the Persian Gulf state in mid-February.

However, Tehran has strongly condemned the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters and military intervention by some Persian Gulf countries in Bahrain, calling for the immediate withdrawal of foreign forces from crisis-hit Bahrain.

Demonstrators in the Shia-majority country have been demanding the end of the Sunni-led monarchy as well as constitutional reforms, with hundreds camping out peacefully in the capital's Pearl Square since February 14th.

Bahraini security forces have been brutally suppressing protesters. So far, at least 24 people have been killed, almost 100 have gone missing and about 1,000 others have been injured.

The violence against protesters escalated when Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar dispatched their armed forces to the country upon Manama's request to help with the crackdown on peaceful protesters.

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