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Iran to stop broadcasting film of detained U.K. crew - radio

RIA Novosti

02/04/2007 16:25 TEHRAN, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian television will no longer broadcast film of the detained British Navy personnel due to 'positive changes' in Britain's stance on the issue, Iranian state radio said Monday.

Iran detained 15 British sailors in the Gulf March 23 for violating its maritime border with Iraq. Britain has insisted the servicemen were in Iraqi waters under a UN mandate, and were returning in dinghies to HMS Cornwall after patrolling oil platforms.

Iran's state television had broadcast film, which showed four of the 15 sailors, including the only female sailor, confessing that they had illegally crossed the borders of Iran's territorial waters.

Monday's radio report did not specify the 'positive changes' in the British government's stance on the issue.

But following the report by Iranian radio, the British television news channel, Sky News, said Iranian television had again broadcast images of the detained sailors, this time showing a group of sailors smiling and saying something to a camera. The audio track of the new film was not available, the channel added.

Last Wednesday London froze official bilateral contacts, suspended the issuance of visas to Iranian officials and referred the case to the UN Security Council. The UN expressed "grave concern" over the sailors' capture.



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