Riyadh, March 30, IRNA - Saudi based daily Al-Riyadh on Friday quoted Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying that the British government as the first step to resolve the issue of its arrested sailors should officially apologize to Iran.
In an exclusive interview with the daily, the Iranian foreign minister underlined that there are some concrete and undeniable evidences that the Britons cannot deny.
According to PGS taken from UK boats, the arrest were made in the Iranian territorial waters, he said.
He said the issue of Iranian diplomats kidnapped by (American) occupiers in Iraq is totally different from the current issue.
To a question on probable US military attack on Iran, he said the Americans are now engaged in domestic issues and are not in a position to enter into another crisis.
"No one dare to attack our sacred land," he said.
He once again underlined that Iran's stance on its nuclear dossier is to defend the nation's legal rights within the framework of international rules and regulations.
Since singing NPT 37 years ago, Iran has always abided by its rules and regulations, he said.
Speaking to reporters, the royal marine said, "We illegally trespassed on Iran's territorial waters and were arrested by the Iranian border guards and I would like to apologize the Iranian people for the issue."
He said the Iranian forces captured the sailors and marines in a friendly manner and treated them well.
Referring to repeated illegal entry into Iranian territorial waters by the UK troopers and to the official commitment of British officials in the year 2004 on non-repetition of such violations, he apologized for illegal entry of the UK forces in the year 2004 too.
"Since we were arrested on March 23, 2007, everything has been OK and I am quite satisfied with the current conditions. Over the past days, Iranian forces have shown us a very friendly and good behavior and no ill treatment has been observed," said the sailor.
Another UK service person Fay Turney had already on Thursday expressed regret for illegal entry into Iranian territorial waters and described the Iranian border guards as very humane and good.
Fifteen British marine who illegally entered into Iranian territorial waters were arrested by the Iranian border guards.
The British media and officials have launched a wave of propaganda campaign against Iran immediately after capture of the British sailors and marines.
Regardless of the GPS surveys, monitored by Iran and offered to the British government, the British media insist that the British navy has not violated Iranian waters.
The letter reads as follows:
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran presents its compliments to the British Embassy in Tehran and draws the attention of the latter to the following:
"According to the information received from relevant authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, two British naval vessels manned by 15 fully equipped crews trespassed on Iran's territorial waters on 3 Farvardin 1386 (23 March 2007). Since similar acts had taken place in the past and prior warning had been given against the repetition of such acts, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran protests strongly against this illegal act in violating Iranian territorial waters, emphasizes the respect for the rules and principles of international law concerning the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, underlines the responsibility of the British Government for the consequences of such violation, and calls for the guarantee to avoid the recurrence of such acts.
"It will be appreciated if the esteemed embassy conveys this note to the relevant authorities of its government and informs this ministry of any explanation in this regard.
"The ministry of foreign affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the British embassy the assurances of its highest considerations."
... Payvand News - 3/30/07 ... --