Iran in sailors’ ‘confession’ claim

Could this be the Arch-Duke Ferdinand moment? 

Iran in sailors’ ‘confession’ claim | UK Latest | Guardian Unlimited

Saturday March 24, 2007 12:43 PM The Iranian military has questioned 15 detained British soldiers and said they confessed to illegally entering the country’s territorial waters.

Iran has accused Britain of “blatant aggression.”

The tough comments came after Britain demanded the return of the sailors and denied they had strayed into Iranian waters while searching for smugglers off Iraq’s coast.

The eight Royal Navy sailors and seven Royal Marines were taken to Tehran for questioning, and a top military official, Gen Ali Reza Afshar, said they “confessed to illegal entry into Iran’s waters.”

“The said personnel are being interrogated and have confessed to aggression into the Islamic Republic of Iran waters,” Afshar was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

The British sailors had just searched a merchant ship when they and their two inflatable boats were intercepted by Iranian vessels on Friday near the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway, US and British officials said.

The Iranian vessels surrounded them and escorted them away at gunpoint.

The incident came at a time of heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and allegations that Iran is arming Shiite Muslim militias in Iraq.

Britain was treating it as a mistake rather than a provocation.

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