The British naval crew seized by Iran have said they were blindfolded, bound and kept in isolation during their captivity. At a news conference the day after arriving home, they said the Iranians had put them under constant psychological pressure. Speaking at the Royal Marines Base at Chivenor in Devon, southern England, Lieutenant Felix Carman told reporters: “When taken by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, we were well inside Iraqi territorial waters. Secondly, the detention was clearly illegal and not a pleasant experience. We, as a group, held out for as long as we felt appropriate. We then complied, up to a point with our captors. We remain immensely proud of our team. Their courage and dignity throughout their illegal detention was entirely in line with the best traditions of the service.
“All of us were kept in isolation. We were interrogated most nights and presented with two options: if we admitted we had strayed, we would be back on a plane to the UK pretty soon. If we didn’t, we faced up to seven years in prison.”
In complete contrast to today’s statement, Lieutenant Carman and a fellow captive had been seen on Iranian television in front of maps apparently showing they had been in the Islamic Republic’s waters when they were seized.
After a nearly two-week long stand-off, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced he was releasing the group on Wednesday, as a gift to the British people. The Foreign Ministry in Tehran has described today’s news conference as “theatrical propaganda.”