Iran airs more UK 'confessions'

Britain says in direct contact with Iran as protesters pelt embassy in Tehran.

    Iranian protesters threw petrol bombs, firecrackers and stones at the British embassy in Tehran [AFP]
    Captain Chris Air said in the clip that "from the GPS they've [the Iranians] shown us", the seven marines and eight navy sailors were seized around 10am "apparently ... inside the Iranian territorial waters".
    Lieutenant Felix Carman, the second sailor, said the location he pointed to on the map - indicating a spot in Iranian waters - was where he and 14 others were arrested.
    "I'd like to say to the Iranian people, I can understand you are so angry about our intrusion into your waters," Carman said.
    Direct contact
    Des Browne, the British defence secretary, said Britain was in "direct, bilateral communication with the Iranians".
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    A ministry spokeswoman said Browne was referring to letters and other contacts between diplomats, and not any new face-to-face talks.
    Douglas Alexander, the transport secretary, said Britain was engaged in "exploring the potential for dialogue with the Iranian".
    Tensions ran high in Tehran on Sunday, with mainly students pelting Britain's embassy with petrol bombs, stones and firecrackers in a government approved protest.

    About 200 people also called for the expulsion of Geoffrey Adams, the British ambassador, chanting "death to Britain" and "death to America".
    Britain's foreign office said nobody was hurt and there was no damage.
    Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister, said on state television the government was waiting for Britain to show a balanced stance over Iran's legal demands.
    Iran wants an apology acknowledging that British troops had trespassed in their waters.
    On Monday, a British foreign office spokesman repeated the government's assertion that the naval personnel were seized in Iraqi waters.
    "They've been detained against their will, we have not had  consular access, we have made it quite clear they were seized in Iraqi waters, and we want them released," the spokesman said.
    Making it worse

    Carman: "

    I can understand you are so angry
    about our intrusion into your waters." [EPA]

    George Bush, the US president, on Saturday demanded for the sailors to be released.

    Bush said at a news conference that "the Iranians must give back the hostages".


    "The British hostages issue is a serious issue because the Iranians took these people out of Iraqi water, and it's inexcusable behaviour."


    Ali Reza Ronaghi, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tehran, said Bush's use of the term "hostages" will likely further infuriate Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iran's president, who has labelled Britain as "arrogant" for failing to apologise.


    Ronaghi said: "Demands from the European Union that they are freed immediately and unconditionally are only antagonising the situation".


    Mohammad Ali Hosseini, a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, said: "The recent stance of the European Union officials regarding this issue will not help in solving the problem, but instead it will complicate the issue and might even make it last even longer."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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