Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair has described Iran’s seizure of 15 Royal Navy personnel as “a very serious situation.”
He was speaking as the British ambassador in Tehran requested access to the group, whose exact whereabouts is not clear.
The British premier said the welfare of the 15 was the most important thing and rejected Iran’s claims that they had been trespassing in its waters.
“I hope that this can be resolved over the next few days but the quicker it is resolved, the easier it will be for all of us,” Blair said.
“But they should not be under any doubt at all about how seriously we regard this act which was unjustified and wrong.”
It was Friday when the Britons were seized at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, marking the southern stretch of Iraq’s border with Iran, in the Gulf.
The incident has raised tensions that were already high with the West over Tehran’s nuclear programme. The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on Iran on Saturday.