Iran News ...


3/28/07

UK sailors detained 0.5 km inside Iranian waters, embassy confirms

London, March 28, IRNA - Iran confirmed Wednesday that the detention of 15 British marines and sailors took place last Friday after they had illegally entered Iranian territorial waters in the northern part of the Persian Gulf.

"Iran has already provided the geographical coordinates of the detention to the British government and has sufficient evidence, including GPS navigator systems, to indicate the penetration of British military personnel 0.5 km deep into Iranian waters," the embassy in London said.

"Violation of international border and their intrusive act justified their detention," it said in a written statement obtained by IRNA.

In a corresponding statement, Britain's deputy chief of defence staff, Vice Admiral Charles Style confirmed that his government had been given a second set of coordinates by Iran about the detentions that were in Iranian waters.

But Styles also presented different British coordinates to claim that the British naval personnel were arrested 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters.

The Iranian Embassy said that the two governments have been closely examining and discussing the case on a daily basis due to "its sensitive security aspects." "We are confident that Iranian and British governments are capable of resolving this security case through their close contacts and cooperation in which would prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents in the area," it said.

The statement also reassured that as the investigation continued "all British marines and sailors are in good health and condition and they enjoy welfare and Iranian hospitality." "We understand the anxiety of their families, but they must be assured that they are in safe hands and have a better life than the risky mission in the Persian Gulf waters," it said.

The embassy also added that the legal and technical issue had "no links to any other issues" and warned that unfounded speculation and provocative rhetoric can only be "counterproductive."

Issue of British marines to be settled through patience and respect to law

TEHRAN, March 28 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran's Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that the British embassy will be allowed to make contact with 15 sailors and marines seized by Iran as soon as a preliminary investigation has been completed.

Iranian armed forces captured the British soldiers on Friday as they entered illegally into Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

"After preliminary investigations are over contacts of the British embassy and consulate with the soldiers will be possible," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said.

Hosseini said, "The incursion of British soldiers into Iranian waters will be resolved through restraint and respect to law and regulations."

He said, "Media hyperbole and inexpert and provocative statements" will not speed up the issue of resolving the illegal entry of British military forces into Iranian waters.

On Sunday, British Ambassador to Iran, Jeffrey Adams, held talks with Iranian Foreign Ministry Director General for Western Europe Ibrahim Rahimpur on the arrest of marines.

Britain's ambassador has asked for access to detained soldiers.

ON Tuesday, Iran said the soldiers were healthy and being treated in a humane fashion.

"They are in completely good health. Rest assured that they have been treated with humanitarian and moral behavior," Hosseini told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Hosseini said the one woman in the group, Faye Turney, had complete privacy.

"Definitely all ethics have been observed," he said.

"The case should follow procedures," Hosseini added.

In 2004, in a similar incident Iran stopped three British boats after they entered Iranian waters.

... Payvand News - 3/28/07 ... --



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