“They did exactly what they should’ve done, and we’re extremely proud of them.”
Those are the words of a British navy chief about the 15 sailors and marines released by Iran.
However, there are still questions about what pressure the personnel were under when they made media statements in Iran. They appeared to admit that they were in Iranian waters when captured, claims denied by Britain.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup said: “Once the reunion with the families – initial reunion – is complete, we’ll be giving our 15 a medical examination and debriefing them properly and so we will learn a bit more about what happened.”
It is unclear what kind of debriefing will take place, but some media reports indicate the secret intelligence service will want to be involved. Iran says the group had been released because Prime Minister Tony Blair had sent a personal letter of apology over the incident, a claim denied by Blair’s office.