A British TV channel has released images of one of the marines a week before his arrest, admitting his patrol did gather intelligence on Iran.
Captain Chris Air described their contact with local fishing boats: “(We’re here) just to introduce ourselves, let them know that we’re here to protect them, protect their fishing, stop any terrorism, or any kind of piracy in the area. Secondly it’s just to gather int (intelligence) because if they do have any information, because they’re here for days at a time, they can share it with us if it’s about any piracy or any sort of Iranian activity in the area, because obviously we’re right near the buffer zone with Iran. This dhow (fishing boat) had been robbed by some Iranian soldiers about three days ago, had some money taken off them and apparently that’s happened quite a few times in the past, so it’s good to gather int on the Iranians …”
Observers say Iran may seize on the interview as proof of their original suspicions about the motives of the marines and sailors they captured.