RIA Novosti – April 10, 2007
A book and a compact disc detailing admissions by detained British sailors and marines that they entered Iranian territorial waters illegally will soon be issued, Iran's military said Tuesday.
Iran detained 15 British Royal Navy personnel in the Gulf March 23 for allegedly violating its maritime border with Iraq. Britain has insisted the servicemen were in Iraqi waters under a UN mandate. However, while the servicemen were in Iranian custody, local television showed some of them apologizing for having illegally entered Iranian territorial waters.
Iran's General Staff said the release would be in reaction to allegations made by the British sailors at a press conference following their release last week that they had been forced to make the confessions under psychological pressure and threats of imprisonment for seven years in Iran.
"Instead of thanking Iran for its magnanimous treatment [of the sailors], the U.K. government once again showed its aggressive and contemptuous attitude towards international norms by staging this children's performance after their release," the statement says.
The book and the compact disc will present information on the arrest, interrogations of the U.K. servicemen and statements they made while under arrest.
Iranian television said Friday the press conference with the released British sailors was staged by the U.K. Cabinet, adding that six of the 15 read their statements from notes whose content had been dictated to them by U.K. authorities.
"[Royal Marine Captain] Chris Air, who in Tehran admitted to having illegally entered Iran's territorial waters, said the opposite at the press conference," Iranian television said.
The servicemen said that during their detention two weeks ago, they were blindfolded, bound, and kept in isolation in small cells. Although Iranian television showed the sailors having lunch together, it was described as a 'PR stunt' by one of the former captives.
Last updated 12/04/2007