AFP: Britain on Sunday branded Iran’s airing of new footage showing two of the 15 British naval personnel it captured as “unacceptable.” LONDON, April 1, 2007 (AFP) – Britain on Sunday branded Iran’s airing of new footage showing two of the 15 British naval personnel it captured as “unacceptable.”
The pair were shown separately on Iranian state television’s Arabic language channel standing in front of an Iranian chart of the northern Gulf waters where the sailors and marines were seized on March 23.
“It’s unacceptable for these pictures to be shown,” a British foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP.
The original audio of their comments in the footage could not be heard but according to a purported Arab-language translation they admitted Iran’s accusation that they were detained on the Iranian side of the maritime boundary.
“The two servicemen are explaining that the group was carrying out a reconnaissance mission when it penetrated Iranian territorial waters at 10 am that day in the sector indicated by the GPS,” a voice-over commentary said.
“They are saying that the group entered the Iranian sector from the Iraqi side.
“They are saying that they were treated in a humane manner.”
Tehran has so far refused to bow to pressure to free the 15 captives, including one woman, who are being held in a secret location.
Britain insists they were on a routine anti-smuggling patrol in Iraqi waters under a UN mandate, but the Islamic republic says they strayed into its territorial waters.