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A series of incidents involving Iranian and Saudi naval forces over recent weeks is heightening the risk of a more violent confrontation between rivals. The first notable event was on 16 June when Saudi Arabia claimed to have captured members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) intent on attacking the offshore Marjan oil field. Iranian officials insisted they were fishermen who had inadvertently drifted off course in heavy seas. Since then IRGC forces have seized Saudi boats in the waters off Bushehr provinces on two occasions, on 7 and 22 July, for trespassing into Iranian waters.
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