"North Korea-Iran Preparing a Joint Nuclear Denotation Experiment"
June 15, 2004
The Dong-a Ilbo
Iran able to defend its territory
Jun 14, 2004
Iran strongly filed protest to Qatar after the tiny sheikhdom's naval guards attacked Iranian fishermen in the Persian Gulf, killing one and injuring several others.
Foreign Ministry summoned Qatar's Ambassador to Tehran, Saleh al-quwari, to convey Tehran's 'strong protest' to the attack Friday morning.
Deputy Interior Minister for security affairs, Ali Asghar Ahmadi described the attack as 'unacceptable, improper and outside international norms'.
"The Islamic Republic is determined to defend the rights of its citizens and the related officials are carefully investigating the cause of this incident," he gave lip service.
Iran, Ahmadi said, is able to defend the country's territorial integrity and its citizens' rights under any condition.
He stressed that the boats were fishing in Iran's waters near the Iranian island of Lavan when they were attacked, rejecting Doha's claims that they had drifted into Qatar's maritime territory.
"Qatar's troops first talked to two captains of the boats and ordered them to leave the area, but while the boats were leaving, the troops opened fire at them under the assumption that the fishermen were fleeing," he said.
Tehran is still smarting from a similar attack by an emirati military vessel on an Iranian fishing boat almost a week ago.
According to Ahmadi, the Qatari troops confiscated the boat and took the body of the slain fisherman with several arrested Iranians away with them.
Foreign Ministry demanded an explanation from the Qatari government Saturday night, as well as immediate repatriation of the Iranians.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Iran also urged Doha to immediately identify and punish those responsible for the attack and ensure that such attacks do not happen anymore.
The Qatari Ambassador expressed regret over the attack, while saying he was not aware of it.
Al-quwari gave assurances that he would immediately convey the protest message to his government and inform Iran of its response.