News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran protests over 'British shootout' at consulate

Iran protests over ‘British shootout’ at consulate

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AFP: Iran has formally protested at what it called a “British shootout” around its consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra, amid a standoff over Tehran’s seizure of 15 Britons, local media reported on Sunday. TEHRAN, April 1, 2007 (AFP) – Iran has formally protested at what it called a “British shootout” around its consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra, amid a standoff over Tehran’s seizure of 15 Britons, local media reported on Sunday.

“Following British forces’ movements and shootout around the Iranian consulate in Basra the foreign ministry submitted a note of protest to the British embassy in Tehran” on March 30, the ministry said in a statement.

It added that Iran called for “prevention of such acts happening again and for the British forces in Iraq to respect international law regarding diplomatic places.”

The Iranian consulate in Basra accused British troops of storming the consulate and surrounding its office during a shootout with gunmen last Thursday.

The British military denied any such incident occurred, saying its soldiers had come under small arms fire during a routine patrol in the vicinity of the Iranian consulate but did not leave their vehicles.

Tehran and London are in dispute over Iran’s detention of 15 British sailors and marines it arrested in the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway between Iran and Iraq on March 23.

Iran says the Britons illegally entered its territorial waters while London insists they were in Iraqi waters on a anti-smuggling patrol under UN mandate.

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