Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

Ahmadinejad Orders Release of 15 British


Mithra

Recommended Posts

TEHRAN, Iran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would free the 15 detained British sailors and marines Wednesday as an Easter holiday "gift" to the British people.

Iranian state television said the 14 men and one woman, who were seized while on patrol in the northern Persian gulf on March 23, would leave Iran on Thursday. An Iranian official in London said they would be handed over to British diplomats in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad's surprise announcement came at a news conference shortly after he pinned a medal on the chest of the Iranian coast guard commander who intercepted the sailors and marines.

"On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet (Muhammad) ... and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people — with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial — forgave those 15," he said, referring to the Muslim prophet's birthday on March 30 and the Easter holiday.

"This pardon is a gift to the British people," he said.

The office of British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it welcomed the news. President Bush, who had condemned the seizure of the Britons and referred to them as "hostages," also welcomed it, said his national security spokesman, Gordon Johndroe.

Their release would end a 13-day standoff between London and Tehran that was sparked when the crew was seized as it searched for smugglers off the Iraqi coast. Britain denied Iranian claims the crew had entered Iranian waters.

After the news conference, state television showed Ahmadinejad meeting with the British crew, dressed in business suits, outside the presidential palace. He shook hands and chatted with them through a translator, and a caption to the video said the meeting was taking place as part of the "process of release."

"We appreciate it. Your people have been really kind to us, and we appreciate it very much," one of the crew could be heard telling Ahmadinejad in English.

Another said: "We are grateful for your forgiveness."

Ahmadinejad responded in Farsi, "You are welcome."

Among the crew at the palace was sailor Faye Turney, the sole woman among the captives, wearing a blue jacket and floral-patterned blue and white headscarf.

Iranian TV said the British captives had watched Ahmadinejad's news conference live and were ecstatic when a translator told them what the president had said.

In New York, British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said "if this news is confirmed, then it's tremendous news and we're delighted."

Recent days saw talk of direct negotiations between Britain and Iran, and a decrease in tensions that had risen after Iran broadcast videos in which Turney and the others "confessed" to violating Iranian territorial waters, and Britain expressed outrage.

Ahmadinejad said the British government had sent a letter to the Iranian Foreign Ministry pledging that entering Iranian waters "will not happen again."

The British Foreign Office responded: "We haven't gone into detail of what was in the note. But we have said all along we made our position clear (about being in Iraqi waters)."

A Downing Street spokeswoman said Blair's office was "establishing exactly what this means in terms of the method and timing of their release."

An Iranian official in London said the crew members would be handed over to British diplomats in Tehran and that it would then be up to the Foreign Office to decide how they would return home.

"They will go through some brief formalities and then they will go to the embassy," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. "They can go on a British Airways flight to Heathrow, they can go through the UAE (United Arab Emirates), it is up to the British Embassy in Tehran in coordination with the Foreign Office here."

In London, a Foreign Office spokesman said wanted to "make sure we've actually got them in hand, and that they're safe and well," before making travel plans.

A group of British service members who were seized by Iran in 2004 were sent back to the British sector of southern Iraq aboard an Iranian commercial flight, after stops in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Ahmadinejad's announcement came after Iran's state media reported that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Another Iranian diplomat, separately seized two months ago by uniformed gunmen in Iraq, was released and returned Tuesday to Tehran.

Ahmadinejad said Iran will never accept trespassing in its territorial waters.

"On behalf of the great Iranian people, I want to thank the Iranian coast guard who courageously defended and captured those who violated their territorial waters," he said.

"We are sorry that British troops remain in Iraq and their sailors are being arrested in Iran," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad asked Blair not to "punish" the crew for confessing that they had been in Iranian waters when they were seized by Iranian coast guard. Iran broadcast video of some of the crew giving confessions, angering Britain.

He also criticized Britain for deploying Turney in the Gulf, pointing out that she is a woman with a child.

"How can you justify seeing a mother away from her home, her children? Why don't they respect family values in the West?" he asked of the British government.

Iran has denied it seized the Britons to force the release of Iranians held in Iraq, and Britain has steadfastly insisted it would not negotiate for the sailors' freedom.

Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency said earlier Wednesday that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet with the five detained Iranians in Iraq but gave no further details.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said, however, that American authorities were still considering the request. The spokesman, Maj. Gen. William C. Caldwell, said an international Red Cross team, including one Iranian, had visited the prisoners but he did not say when.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told The Associated Press that the case of the five Iranians detained in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish self-governing region in northern Iraq, had no connection with the British captives.

Zebari, a Kurd, said his government had been relaying Iranian requests for a meeting with the five detainees, but could not confirm the request had been approved.

In a commentary, the Iranian news agency said the movement on the Iranian prisoner issue was due in part to "the new American political and military appointments in Iraq."

The agency was referring to Gen. David Petraeus, who assumed command of U.S. forces in February, and Ryan Crocker, who began work as the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq last month.

U.S. troops detained the five Iranians on Jan. 11, accusing them of links to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard network that was supplying money and weapons to insurgents in Iraq.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said President Bush had approved the strategy of raiding Iranian targets in Iraq as part of efforts to confront the government in Tehran.

Iraqi Kurds, like the country's Shiites, maintain close ties with Shiite-dominated Iran, despite their warm relationship with the U.S. — and have been upset over the arrests in their own capital.

Iran denounced the raid and insisted that the five were diplomats who were engaged exclusively in consular work. The Iraqi government said they were arrested at an office that was supposed to become an Iranian consulate.

The British newspaper The Independent reported this week that the Irbil raid had escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran and may have set the stage for the March 23 seizure of the British naval personnel.

Also Wednesday, a Kuwaiti newspaper quoted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem as saying Damascus was also mediating the case of the 15 Britons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 
  • Replies 20
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • StoneAgeQueen

    3

  • Birmingham

    2

  • Adam2006

    2

  • Mithra

    2

Top Posters In This Topic

Mithra..........where is your source? READ the above paragraph and rules governing plagarism. You have been here long enough to know the rules.

Edited by Aztec Warrior
Link to comment
Share on other sites

a holiday gift...this guys a trip.....glad they are safe........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice. I am curious to hear if the confessions were coerced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a huge PR scam. He doesn't give a dang about that mother but he's appealing to the Iranians Islamic values which is centered mainly around the woman being at home being a good wife. He's not trying to please the West but paint a better picture for himself at home while Iranians are scraping by to buy the basics because of his insane judgements against the UN resulting in the sanctions. He broke a fair amount of promises, that can be said though about anybody in politics nearly, and his people are ticked. That was clearly shown in the last election when the Iranians basically gave the nut the finger. Iran is trying to look like the good guy here when they illegally entered Iraqi waters and kidnapped 15 soldiers. Just think what Iran would do if tomarrow US special forces ran into Iran and took some of the RG from their posts and then flew them to Washington DC so they could make 'confessions' on tv and be paraded around? 10 whole dollars says that the Iranians would more then likely start attacking.

I'll be glad though if and when they're released regardless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm acually am a bit surprised that the release happened so soon. I just did not think Iran had "milked" the situation for all it could get. I thought another 2-3 weeks be fore they would be released.

Before long some will ask who "Won" and who "Lost" in this crissis. So my opinion. I think both the Blair Administration and Iran lost.

I have been visiting a bunch of British forums and posting sites since the start of the crissis. And other than the pacifists that you would expect, what you saw was a great ammount of scorn piled onto Blair and his cabinet. Even people who identified as Labour supporters criticized Blair for hanging the British military out to dry. One person who said that he was a member of the Labour Party (in the UK, you can support a party, but to call your self a member means you have formally joined, and are a dues-paid member of the Party) said that he could not support Blair, and called for him to resign sooner than planned. It may be a defining moment for Labour, and may usher in the Conservitives in the next election. Brits do have a longer memory than people think. And I doubt if they will forget this even with the hostages back.

Iran lost by showing how unpredictable it is. And how risky it is to allow that country to become a nuclear power. Throw out the "nuke them today" crowd, there were a lot of people who had their eyes opened over the crissis. You saw on these forums a lot of people who lost their "virginity" over what kind of country Irans hardlines want it to become. Iran scared a lot of people who had never had a concern over Iran before this. And this was not the British. In the past 2-3 days a lot of others listing locations other than the UK came out in support. And admitted that they had underestamated the Iranian Government.

Now the cynicism is starting to set in. There has been a number of posters on all these forums who will not believe it until they see the Royal Marines/Seamen back in Britain. The criticism of taking the uniforms away from the personel, which is illegal under International Law. And the "plea" by Ahmaninejad not for the British Government not to punish them. As one poster said "We do not hang people for making a mistake, as they have in Iran". And the criticism is mounting on the Blair Government. Why they were allowed to be siezed. Why the British govenment made thenself to look weak. How ineffective the Government looked. The posters can not attack Iran. But they sure are attacking Tony Blair.

So neither of the partys are coming out of this with in good shape. The British are mad at their government. And Iran showed a lot of people in the world they are too dangerous to have a nuke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's great news! I'm so glad they could solve it diplomatically instead of jumping in there, guns blazing.

I don't know anybody that is angry with Tony Blair for the way he handled that crisis. How would you have expected him to deal with it? Bomb the country?? :rolleyes:

Everyone is GLAD that nothing worse happened here.

The conservatives will NEVER be ushered in the next election. That is RUBBISH. They do NOT have enough support for that to happen.

Even though the majority of British people oppose the war and there is a lot of anger at Tony Blair for getting us involved with it, he is still liked so much more than that prick david Cameron. he is so unpopular it's unreal so I don't know where you got the idea from that they have any chance of winning next election. Gordon Brown is likely to step in as PM when Tony stands down, and let me tell you, David cameron doesn't stand a CHANCE.

Edited by StoneAgeQueen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And a collective sigh of relief is heard from around the M.E..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I think the pressure from the E.U. has helped here, along with many other countries. I'm glad they are free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Yep was so happy even forgot to source it, it was on Yahoo news,

The dude hates me from the start. hehehe not the first time he does that...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stone Age Queen, you make some big claims that no one is unhappy with Tony Blair's conduct of this incident. I guess you have not read any of the write-in opinion web sites or discussion forums. But if your living in the stone age I can understand why. I'm sure you can find the archives for the BBC frontpage web site. Where they asked people to write in and express their openion. Lots of people saying what they thought. Both for and against the policy of the Blair administration on the crissis.

As far as the next election, the UK has had some big surprises the morning after a general election. In 1945 who would have imagined Churchill being thrown out of #10 before World War II was compleated. Or who would have thought Thatcher would have beat Callaghan in the year before the 1979 election. And then Thatcher being re-elected 3 times. Or John Major lasting 7 years as PM. (Which might have been the biggest surprise of all)

You say that Blair is super popular. But in 1991 George Bush, Sr. had a popularity rating of 73%. One of the highest ratings ever for a US President. A year and a half later he lost the 1992 election handily to Clinton.

It is time for Labour to go. For Labour's sake. When ever you have a government that has been in power for 10 years (the 2nd longest term of a party since World War I) it becomes stale. It starts to lose its desire for reform. And starts to take the looks of the preceading party. Labour needs to reinvent itself. To be reinvigorated. So it will be able to recapture the peoples imagination.

I said that with the dissatisfaction, that the Conservatives could win the next election. I did not say that Cameron will not be more than a footnote in history. But do believe that a people do become tired with a party. And vote them out. A lot of times they realize their mistake later. But to deny the posibility could send you jumping off a bridge the morning after.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stone Age Queen, you make some big claims that no one is unhappy with Tony Blair's conduct of this incident. I guess you have not read any of the write-in opinion web sites or discussion forums. But if your living in the stone age I can understand why. I'm sure you can find the archives for the BBC frontpage web site. Where they asked people to write in and express their openion. Lots of people saying what they thought. Both for and against the policy of the Blair administration on the crissis.

As far as the next election, the UK has had some big surprises the morning after a general election. In 1945 who would have imagined Churchill being thrown out of #10 before World War II was compleated. Or who would have thought Thatcher would have beat Callaghan in the year before the 1979 election. And then Thatcher being re-elected 3 times. Or John Major lasting 7 years as PM. (Which might have been the biggest surprise of all)

You say that Blair is super popular. But in 1991 George Bush, Sr. had a popularity rating of 73%. One of the highest ratings ever for a US President. A year and a half later he lost the 1992 election handily to Clinton.

It is time for Labour to go. For Labour's sake. When ever you have a government that has been in power for 10 years (the 2nd longest term of a party since World War I) it becomes stale. It starts to lose its desire for reform. And starts to take the looks of the preceading party. Labour needs to reinvent itself. To be reinvigorated. So it will be able to recapture the peoples imagination.

I said that with the dissatisfaction, that the Conservatives could win the next election. I did not say that Cameron will not be more than a footnote in history. But do believe that a people do become tired with a party. And vote them out. A lot of times they realize their mistake later. But to deny the posibility could send you jumping off a bridge the morning after.

I will admit that some people are unhappy with the way he handled it, but really you cannot take the opinions of some posters on a few forums and say it is fact. I live in Britain. I read all the British newspapers every day, listen to radio phone in shows and most importantly, I actually speak to other British people about it. ;)

I would ask the few who disagree with his handling of the matter how they would have dealt with it? Surely the release of the sailors without any other conflict was the best possible outcome here?

Maybe it is time for labour to go, but the conservatives will not get in power in the next election. Perhaps we should come back to this thread when the time comes and see who was right ;)

Please point out to me where in my previous post I said that Tony Blair was "super popular".. I did not say that. he is not by any means very popular but he is definitely better than anyone the conservatives have to offer, and most people are in agreement with this.

Edited by StoneAgeQueen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...aaand they're back.

linked-image

Captured navy crew land in London The 15 Royal Navy sailors and marines held captive in

Iran for almost two weeks have returned to the UK. The crew, freed by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

as a "gift" to the British people on Wednesday, touched down at Heathrow Airport at 1200 BST.

BBC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ahmadinejad made a smart move there....I think he was a few days from being attacked...now we can go back to the same old cat and mouse game....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Budgie Day"- LMAO :w00t:

Sure is !! :lol:

It’s Budgie Day

Posted March 21st, 2007 by Parish Poisoner

Categories: News, Policies

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party has announced its response to Gordon Brown’s Budgie.

We will be increasing the BED (budgie excise duty) on the least millett-efficient budgies by £400 per year.

Budgies that are environmentally friendly and don’t make a mess of their cages will receive a tax incentive to emit even lower quantities of greenhouse gases.

All budgies that talk, rather than just whistling or chuntering, will be taxed extremely highly. It’s only fair. This will be called the “for god’s sake shut up, you wretched little bird” tax.

The lowest rate of Feather Tax will be scrapped, thereby discouraging the less-well-off budgies from shaving.

A special Canary Tax will be introduced to encourage people to switch to more environmentally-friendly budgies.

Here endeth the budgie jokes.

http://www.omrlp.com/

You should have a look on their site, some of the stuff is hilarious yet great. Imagine if they did come into power, our army will be replaced with ninja sheep :w00t:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok everybody return to your lives citizens. nothing more to see here. i guess its gonna be a big party for the captured, now FREE, wonder if im invited <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.