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Iran Seeks Goodwill Gesture From Britain

The former detainees speaking to journalists on April 6 (TV screen shot) April 7, 2007 -- Iran's ambassador to Britain has called on London to respond with goodwill to Tehran's release of 15 British naval personnel it had held captive for two weeks.

In an interview with the "Financial Time," Rasul Movahedian-Attar said Iran would welcome Britain's help to release five Iranians held by U.S. forces in Iraq and also to ease fears globally about its nuclear program.

Announcing the release of the Britons on April 4, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said it was a "gift" to the British people.

In a press conference on April 6, the British Navy personnel said they were blindfolded, handcuffed, and threatened with long prison terms during their detention.

They also said they were in Iraqi, and not Iranian, waters when they were captured, in contrast to admissions some of them had made on Iranian television.

Iran dismissed the press conference as "propaganda."

(compiled from agency reports)