“I want to apologise for entering your waters without permission. I know it happened before in 2004 and my government said it wouldn’t happen again. I really am very sorry.” Those were the words of Nathan Thomas Summers, one of the British sailors being held hostage in Iran for allegedly trespassing in Iranian waters exactly a week ago.
His confession was broadcast on the Iranian TV channel, Al-Alam. He was shown sitting alongside three of his fourteen colleagues. He added that they were all being well-treated, fed well, and were very grateful they had not been harmed.
Yesterday his colleague, Faye Turney, the only woman among the 15 service personnel being held, also admitted entering Iranian waters without permission.
Britain believes its nationals are being coerced into making guilty confessions. It has protested vehemently against such images, demanding instead consular access to the service personnel to verify that they are safe and well.
EU Foreign Ministers are presently meeting to discuss the matter.