Iran General NewsIran official says Britons were freed after UK apology

Iran official says Britons were freed after UK apology

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Reuters: An adviser to Iran’s top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday Iran received a letter of apology from Britain before the release of 15 military personnel, state television reported. TEHRAN (Reuters) – An adviser to Iran’s top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday Iran received a letter of apology from Britain before the release of 15 military personnel, state television reported.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized the British sailors and marines on March 23, and accused them of entering Iran illegally, a charge Britain denied. The 15 Britons were released on Wednesday and arrived back in England on Thursday.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser on international affairs to Khamenei, said Iran had achieved its “objectives” in the political standoff with Britain over the arrests.

“Iran set a condition that Britain accepts there was a violation (of Iranian waters) and gives apologies. On Tuesday we received a letter of apology,” Velayati was quoted as saying.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday Britain had taken a measured approach to the incident “not negotiating but not confronting either”.

Britain angered Iran earlier in the crisis by seeking and securing the support of the United Nations and European Union for its cause. The United States had also backed Britain.

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