'All 15 British sailors confessed'

Iranian state TV says there are "positive signs" in negotiations with UK.

April 2, 2007 11:31
1 minute read.
'All 15 British sailors confessed'

British sailor 298.88. (photo credit: )

Iran's state-run Arabic-language TV channel reported Monday that all 15 captured British sailors had confessed to illegally entering Iranian waters. Later the channel reported "positive signs" in neogtiations with Britain, but did not elaborate or quote any sources. The claim regarding the sailors was carried by the news channel Al-Alam, a state-run channel that is broadcast across the Arab world but not in Iran. Iran's military chief had said on Saturday, March 24 that the sailors had confessed after interrogations to illegally entering Iranian waters, but did not specify that all 15 had confessed. There was no source given for Al-Alam's new claim. The station has so far broadcast video footage of four of the 15 saying they were in Iranian waters at the time of their capture, including footage on Sunday in which two of the sailors used maps to show the alleged location where they were surrounded and seized by Iranian military vessels. The British government has vehemently denied that its personnel entered Iranian waters, and has said the confessions appear coerced. Britain says the sailors were in Iraqi waters operating under a UN mandate, and has released its own maps and GPS coordinates showing their alleged locations. Iran has asked for an apology from the British government for the alleged illegal intrusion into Iranian waters as a condition for the sailors' release. Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported Saturday that Iran's ambassador to Moscow said they could be tried for violating international law, but the ambassador later denied the remarks, saying only that the case had entered a "legal phase."

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