Iranian TV Airs Video of Captured British Sailors
Iranian Television has aired a video of the 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iran in what it claims were its waters. The broadcast included footage of Faye Turney, the only female captive, who said that the British had "trespassed" into Iranian waters when they were taken captive Friday.
Iranian Foreign Minster Manouchehr Mottaki has told the Associated Press that British diplomats would be allowed to meet with the British service members, but it is unclear when. Mottaki also said that in order for the 15 to be returned, Britain must express its regret for entering Iranian waters.
Earlier today, the British government presented evidence that it said proved the Royal Navy personnel were in Iraqi waters when they were seized.
The footage released by the Iranian government was brief. It showed pictures of the 15 sailors and marines eating a meal together, and a scene of what appeared to be the British crew sitting in an Iranian boat in open waters immediately after their capture.
The only person to speak on the tape was Leading Seaman Faye Turney, 26, who was shown wearing a headscarf and smoking a cigarette.
The Iranians also released a letter that they said Turney wrote to her family.
This morning, Britain's Deputy Chief of Defense Staff Vice Admiral Charles Style laid out in more detail what the British government says is proof that the sailors and marines were in Iraqi, not Iranian, waters.
Admiral Style gave the exact latitude and longitude where the two inflatable dinghies sent out from the Royal Navy warship HMS Cornwall were detained.
"The action by Iranian forces in arresting and detaining our people is unjustified and wrong," Style said.
The British government has announced a freeze on almost all bilateral contacts with Iran. With most analysts saying that military action is not even being contemplated, Prime Minister Tony Blair is trying to strike a balance between talking tough in public, while seeking a diplomatic solution in private.
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