After refusing coast guard orders to surrender, one of the Iranian men was wounded, according to a statement by the state-run Kuwait News Agency.
A photo was released, showing nine of the men on their knees with their hands clasped behind their backs, on the website of The Interior Ministry.
It won’t be surprising if the arrests draw more accusations by Arab Gulf countries of Iranian interference in their affairs. Iran stands accused of meddling in regional affairs by the largely Sunni bloc of nations, primarily in Bahrain and Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Iranian-allied militias for more than a year.
Fars news agency quoted Ali Hajatpour, deputy chief of Bushehr province’s coast guard in southern Iran, as saying some Iranian fisherman were detained in Kuwait because of a “quarrel.” He was quoted Saturday saying the dispute happened on Kuwaiti soil and that “their detention was not related to a border violation.”
Ties between Kuwait and Iran may be strained further, as an appeals court in Kuwait recently upheld the death sentence for a Shiite citizen on charges of communicating with Iran and the Lebanese militant Shiite group Hezbollah to commit “hostile actions” against the country.
Kuwait has aligned itself with Saudi Arabia against Iran. Kuwait recalled its ambassador after a mob ransacked the Saudi Embassy in protest of the execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric.