New video of captured British troops aired; protests at UK embassy in Tehran

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Monday, April 2, 2007

Map showing the location of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran.

Iran state television broadcast a new video of two officers among the fifteen British sailors and marines seized by Iran last week.

Yesterday, Iranian students demonstrated in front of the British embassy in Tehran over the incident.

Demonstrators threw stones, firecrackers and a smoke grenade but were prevented from entering the embassy compound by police. No damage was reported and no one at the embassy was injured. The BBC's correspondent on the location reported that the protestors were hardline Islamist students from Tehran University, who chanted "Death to Britain" and called for an apology from the UK for the incident and putting the seized soldiers on trial. Protestors also carried banners saying "finally wipe Israel from the face of the Earth".

The new video shows one of the servicemen, Royal Marine Capt. Chris Air, pointed to an area on a map where Iran says they were when the British troops were arrested.

"We were seized apparently at this point here on their maps and on the GPS they've shown us, which is inside Iranian territorial waters. And so far we have been treated very well by all the people here. They have looked after us and made sure there's been enough food and we've been treated very well by them, so we thank them for that," said Air.

Lt. Felix Carman is the second serviceman to appear in the video. Carman was also showing viewers where they were detained by Iranian forces.

"[It is] completely unacceptable for these pictures to be shown on TV," said a British Foreign Ministry spokesman, echoing previous statements from the Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.

On March 23, the fifteen sailors and marines from the frigate HMS Cornwall were inspecting a ship, in what the UK identified as Iraqi waters, when they were surrounded by Iranian gunboats and taken into custody. Iran claims the UK forces were in Iranian waters, though they have released the 15.