Tehran, March 24, IRNA - British Charge d'Affaires in Tehran Kate Smith was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry Friday evening and conveyed Iran's strong protest to the "illegal entry into Iranian territorial waters of British forces" on Friday morning.
Director General of the Western Europe of the Foreign Ministry Ebrahim Rahimpour said in the meeting that during occupation of Iraq British forces have entered into Iranian territorial waters illegally several times and have been arrested by Iranian border guards for further investigation.
Rahimpour urged the British charge d'affaires to provide Iran with instant explanation of the British side on "this blatant violation of Iranian territorial waters." He also called for nonrecurance of such incidents in future.
Smith said she will inform her government of the issue and present Iran with the necessary response as soon as possible.
The British ambassador is currently in London and is scheduled to return to Tehran Saturday.
Fifteen British sailors were arrested by Iranian forces Friday morning in Arvand Rud, in north of the Persian Gulf waters.
"Confrontation with Iran was not in national interests of any country," Movahedian told Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett's permanent under-secretary head of Britain's Diplomatic Service Sir Peter Ricketts.
"Iran has an inalienable right to nuclear energy," he reminded Ricketts in discussions about Britain's latest attempt to draft a new UN resolution aimed at imposing more sanctions against Iran.
Their meeting on Friday comes after a diplomatic dispute over the arrest by Iranian forces of 15 British naval personnel on two rigid inflatable boats in the Iranian waters of Persian Gulf.
Commodore Nick Lambert, the British commander of the Cornwall, frigate, leading the taskforce, has said that "the extent and definition of territorial waters in this part of the world is very complicated."
... Payvand News - 3/24/07 ... --