People’s Daily Online – March 30, 2007
Iran on Thursday accused British forces of taking "provocative act" against its consulate in southern Iraqi city of Basra.
"This morning, the British occupier forces launched a provocative and adventurous action against Iran's consulate in Basra," the press department of Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement faxed to media.
The British forces in their automobiles entered the area in Basra where Iran's consulate is located and started to patrol around the building, the statement said, adding that they besieged the consulate for one hour and twenty minutes.
The British troops increased the number of their forces and started to shoot at the building of the consulate. The shooting lasted twenty minutes but no one was injured, the statement said.
"This provocative act of the British forces took place just a few days" after their violation of Iranian territorial waters and "naturally adds to the suspicion over the real intentions of their movements in the region," the statement said.
"The protest of the Islamic Republic of Iran was immediately presented to Iraq's foreign ministry," it added.
Last Friday, 15 British naval personnel were seized by Iranian forces when they were patrolling off the Iraqi borders.
Iran has insisted that the British boats made a blatant " incursion" into Iranian territorial waters, and its state television said it would soon broadcast a video footage of the detained sailors.
However, the British authorities said that the incident took place when the British soldiers were engaged in routine boarding operations in Iraqi territorial waters in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1723 and the Iraqi government.
Last updated 03/04/2007