Skip to comments.Peaceful end urged in Iran crisis
Posted on 03/31/2007 1:02:40 PM PDT by traumer
Britain is looking for a speedy and peaceful end to the crisis over 15 Royal Navy personnel held captive by Iran, the foreign secretary has said.
Margaret Beckett described earlier comments by an Iranian diplomat, who said the group could face legal action, as "unhelpful".
Gholamreza Ansari said "legal process" had started but denied reports quoting him saying the group may face trial.
A British diplomatic note has been sent to the Iranians.
Mrs Beckett said: "I think everyone regrets that this position has arisen. What we want is a way out of it - we want it peacefully and we want it as soon as possible."
Iran's official IRNA news agency earlier carried a report saying Mr Ansari, Iran's ambassador to Moscow, had told Russian television that legal moves had already started against the 15 and that there was a possibility they could stand trial.
But the agency later quoted Mr Ansari saying the television channel had made a "translation mistake" and that he had not mentioned the prospect of a trial.
UK VERSION OF EVENTS 1 Crew boards merchant ship 1.7NM inside Iraqi waters 2 HMS Cornwall was south-east of this, and inside Iraqi waters 3 Iran tells UK that merchant ship was at a different point, still within Iraqi waters 4 After UK points this out, Iran provides alternative position, now within Iranian waters
Britain denies Iran's claims that the UK crew was in its waters when seized on 23 March and is demanding their "immediate" return.
Speaking at a European Union summit in the German city of Bremen, Mrs Beckett said she had replied to an earlier letter from the Iranian government, but gave no detail of the contents.
She stressed the British government wanted the situation resolved quickly.
"We continue to express our willingness to engage in dialogue and discussion, to come to a resolution of this issue," she said.
She expressed her "concern" over claims by Mr Ansari that the British personnel could face legal action.
"I don't think it's helpful to Iran, I don't think it's helpful to our detainees - I think that is not the tone really that I would wish anyone to strike," she said.
IRANIAN VERSION OF EVENTS 1 Royal Navy crew stray 0.5km inside Iranian waters 2 Iran gives set of co-ordinates to back up their claims 3 According to seized GPS equipment, the Royal Navy crew had previously entered Iranian waters at several other points 4 Iran informs Britain of the position where the crew were seized, inside Iranian waters
Both versions in more detail
But she added that things had "gone a little quieter" in the negotiations and she hoped that was "a good sign" that Iran was "thinking afresh what is the way out of this situation".
BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins said although their was no sign of a major diplomatic breakthrough in the crisis, there was now a sense of dialogue between the two countries.
Both sides appeared to be "lowering the temperature", he added.
Earlier, US state department spokesman Sean McCormack rejected suggestions that a swap could be made for five Iranians captured in Iraq by US forces in January.
The Iranians, believed to be members of the Revolutionary Guard, were taken in a raid in the city of Irbil, along with equipment which the Americans say shows clear Iranian links to networks supplying Iraqi insurgents with technology and weapons.
US officials have condemned Iran's actions over the 15 Navy personnel and publicly supported the UK.
And EU foreign ministers, meeting in Bremen, called for "the immediate and unconditional release" of the sailors and expressed "unconditional support" for Britain's position.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has also criticised Iran for "parading" the UK crew on television in a way which would only "enhance people's sense of disgust".
HAVE YOUR SAY They will have to be released by diplomatic means and I believe that this will happen Neil Whittaker, Lancashire, UK
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In what appeared to be an edited broadcast on an Iranian channel on Friday, captured sailor Nathan Thomas Summers said: "I would like to apologise for entering your waters without permission."
He was shown alongside two colleagues, one of whom was Leading Seaman Faye Turney, from Shropshire, who had been broadcast apologising to Iran earlier in the week.
Along with LS Turney and Nathan Summers, who is from Cornwall, Paul Barton from Southport, Danny Masterton from Ayrshire, Joe Tindall from south London and Adam Sperry from Leicester are among those being held by Iran.
The Britons, based on HMS Cornwall, were seized by Revolutionary Guards as they returned from searching a vessel in the northern Gulf.
things had "gone a little quieter"... she hoped that was "a good sign" that Iran was "thinking afresh what is the way out of this situation"
Oh. Wow. I really feel sorry for anyone who is now, or has ever been a citizen of the UK. Your country is pitiful. Worse than France at this moment.
---Mrs Beckett said: "I think everyone regrets that this position has arisen. What we want is a way out of it - we want it peacefully and we want it as soon as possible."---
"The Persian Butt in Your Face Head Lock"
the once proud lion is getting owned badly by the persian cat.
looks like England needs to be saved a third time.
to all the diplomats who are 'dismayed, concerned and troubled'....its called Jihad stupid and they are at war with you. just because you dont acknowledge it doesnt make it go away.
Maybe if everyone in the UK baked a pan of brownies and sent them to Iran, they could all sit down with a nice cup of tea and get this little misunderstanding straightened out.
I expect to hear soon that Carter is volunteering to advise them on the best course of action.
When they start blaming it on the Jews we'll know he has.
First of all...I saw a news segment on Fox with Ms. Beckett saying that stuff..and it just makes me shake my head.
She is playing right into Nutjob's hands...ugh
Second of all...I hope this little "crisis" will put to rest the talk in the Senate by Specter and others about how WE treat the prisoners....and how WE need to be sure and comply to the Geneva Conventions and more.
I really feel sorry for anyone who is now, or has ever been a citizen of the UK."
It's not about being a citizen of the UK. It's about being stupid.Any way you look at her being this naive, she got there because she's stupid.
"THIS JUST IN -
In response to the impotent attack-inviting, lack of UK's
response to Iranian terrorists and pirates at sea, other wannabe terrorists in several microstates
are declaring war on England, including Nauru - 8.5 square miles,
Tuvalu - 9 square miles, and Palau - 191 square miles, who now have divided
London between themselves. British women should begin packing."
If one side is committing an act of war, why is everybody urging the UK to not start a war? That makes no sense at all! By definition and act of war is an act of war; Iran started one! UK has no choice unless the Iranians surrender the hostages.
This "we are sorry and we won't do it again" attitude by the UK will only net them more trouble down the line. Sad really.
Remember this British leader seeking peace? Uncle Neville did his appeasement with his piece of paper..
and now you know....the rest of the story...
If you want peace, you better be willing to fight for it.
"I really feel sorry for anyone who is now, or has ever been a citizen of the UK. Your country is pitiful. Worse than France at this moment."
And as representatives of our country, Pellosi, Ellison, etc., are going to Syria to chat with Assad. That also is pitiful. I think we have to be careful about generalizing.
Can I remind you that President Bush said in a letter to the Chinese that he was "sorry" so that he could get the airmen held by China for 13 days, released.
Yes Britain fought for two years against tyranny alone.
Peaceful end means England you give in. Iran you rule over the big boy and spume your hate about how great you are and how the west is dancing to your tune. Peace with these people means Iran rules Iraq and Jack Murtha dances in the streets while accepting money from foreign agents and getting away with it. of course peace with Iran means Nancy pelosi will not attend her perverted war dances with nude men in San fran and she admits she is with the enemy all the time.
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