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Iran:British Have Confessed To “Illegal Entry”

From a delighted Reuters:

Iran’s military says Britons “confessed” entry

By Fredrik Dahl

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s military said on Saturday British naval personnel seized in the Gulf confessed to entering its waters illegally, but Britain maintained they were detained inside Iraqi territory.

Iranian forces captured 15 British sailors and marines on Friday at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which marks the southern stretch of Iraq’s border with Iran, sparking a diplomatic crisis at a time of increased tension over Tehran’s nuclear standoff with the United States and other major powers.

The semi-official Fars news agency said they had been transferred to Tehran to explain their “aggressive action,” but this could not be immediately confirmed. Fars also said the Britons included some women.

“These people are under investigation and have confessed they have violated the waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the ISNA news agency quoted a military official as saying.

The official, Deputy Commander Alireza Afshar, told state radio the Britons were in good health. “The investigation is going on and they are healthy and there is no problem.”

He said they were detained on Friday by naval units of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideologically driven wing of the armed forces which has a separate command structure from the regular military.

Britain has not released the identities of the personnel.

“We still maintain they were in Iraqi waters when they were picked up,” a British diplomat in Tehran said, adding he had no information they had been moved to the capital. Another British envoy earlier cited reports suggesting they had been taken to a military base in southwestern Iran after their capture.

Britain said two boatloads of Royal Navy sailors and marines had searched a merchant vessel on a U.N. approved mission in Iraqi waters when Iranian gunboats encircled and captured them.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned what it called the illegal entry into Iranian waters as a “suspicious act,” the official IRNA news agency said…

 Gee, I wonder which side our watchdog media will believe?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, March 24th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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