An Iranian student demonstrating outside the British Embassy on April 1 (Fars)
April 3, 2007 -- Ali Larijani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, says he believes the standoff over 15 British service personnel being detained by Iran could be resolved without a trial.
Larijani said in an interview with Britain's Channel 4 News that Iran's priority is to solve the crisis through diplomacy, and Tehran is not interested in seeing the issue get more complicated.
A British Foreign Office spokeswoman said London shared Larijani's preference for a diplomatic solution.
At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the early release of the British personnel and said he hoped the rhetoric between the Iranian and British sides could be "toned down."
"I would hope that this rhetoric should be toned down, which is not desirable in helping resolve this issue," Ban said. "As the secretary-general, I would again hope that we would be able to see some early release of these U.K. sailors."
Britain has rejected Iranian accusations that the British service personnel were operating in Iranian waters when they were captured by Iranian forces on March 23 in the Persian Gulf between Iraq and Iran.
(compiled from agency reports)