Archive for March, 2007

Questioning of British service people continues in Tehran

March 24, 2007

Interrogation of 15 detained British service people continued Saturday in Tehran, the IRIB state television reported, quoting a a military spokesman as saying all 15 were in good health.

General Ali-Reza Afshar claimed that Iran had documented proof that the British marines violated Iranian territory and were arrested in Iranian waters but refrained to present the documents.

The general further claimed that the service people had already made ‘some confessions’ that they were arrested Friday in Iranian territorial waters in the Gulf. No other Iranian official has so far verified any confession.

Iran’s Fars news agency earlier reported the eight sailors and seven Royal Marines, including one woman, were transferred to the capital in order to explain ‘their aggressive act.’

Fars added that the service people had in their possession ‘military and sophisticated geographic exploration equipment.’ The Fars report received no immediate confirmation.

Tehran earlier Saturday condemned what it called ‘Britain’s illegal infiltration of Iranian waters,’ the Iranian ISNA news agency reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said the ‘interfering and hostile British act was suspicious and contrary to international rights and therefore there could be no justification (for London) not accepting responsibility.’

The spokesman added the British officials should make recompense for their mistake rather than sticking to ‘irrelevant interpretations for justifying their illegal act.’

Iran said Friday the 15 were ‘arrested’ in what it said was the Iranian part of Arvand river in the Gulf.

Britain insisted that the service people, from the frigate HMS Cornwall, were in Iraqi waters.

It demanded the immediate and safe return of all 15, who were seized after they boarded a boat in the northern Gulf, off the coast of Iraq, which they suspected was smuggling cars.

A spokesman for the US military told the BBC that it had been monitoring Iran’s elite fighting force, the Revolutionary Guards, ‘for years now’ in Iraqi territorial waters.Source: