A second ordeal for some of the 15 British navel crew seized by Iran, this time they faced the media. For six of them, a press conference after their debriefing was a chance to put their side of the story: They were not in Iranian waters when taken and any so-called confessions were made after fearing for their own and their colleagues’ safety.
Captain Chris Air said, “We are aware that many people have questioned why we allowed ourselves to be taken in the first place and why we allowed ourselves to be shown by the Iranian authorities on television. Let me be absolutely clear, from the outset it was very apparent that fighting back was simply not an option.”
Lieutenant Felix Carman described some of the treatment at the hands of their captors.” We were blindfolded, our hands were bound, we were forced up against a wall. Throughout our ordeal we faced constant psychological pressure.” The crew described how the Iranian televised pictures of them appearing to be relaxed were, it seems, taken after days of being held in isolation and being constantly interrogated.
While the US has denounced their treatment and called it “inappropriate”, the British government has not commented. Tehran has described the press conference as “staged propaganda which cannot cover up the mistake made by British military personnel who illegally entered Iran’s territory.”