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Iranian Media Say All British Personnel 'Confessed'


British marine points to map of Persian Gulf on Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam TV on April 1 (epa) April 2, 2007 -- After Iranian television showed British naval personnel saying they had entered Iranian territory without permission when they were detained, state-run media say that all 15 being held by Tehran have confessed to illegally entering Iran's waters.

In one part of the footage, two of the Britons point to a map of the Persian Gulf and appear to identify where Iran says their boat allegedly crossed into Iranian waters on March 23, leading to their capture by Iranian naval forces.

One of the sailors, identified as Lieutenant Felix Carmen, said he "can understand why you [the Iranian people] are so angry about our intrusion into your waters."

A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Ministry said it was "unacceptable" for Iran to broadcast video of the captured sailors.

The British government announced on April 1 that it was in direct contact with Iran in an effort to solve the issue of the detained sailors diplomatically.

Britain rejects Iran's allegations that the sailors crossed into Iranian waters, saying the sailors were operating legitimately in Iraqi waters.

(compiled from agency reports)
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