Iranian state television has broadcast video images of two of the 15 British naval personnel captured on March 23rd. Standing in front of a map of the Gulf, the Royal Marine officers are heard confirming that they entered Iranian waters: “We were seized apparently at this point here, on the map, from the GPS stationers which is inside the Iranian territorial waters”, said one officer.
As the crisis entered another week, anger spilled over onto the streets of the Iranian capital Tehran. It was directed at the British embassy. Hundreds of protestors tried to storm the barriers outside demanding that the captured sailors and marines be put on trial.
So far, the focus has been on measured diplomacy from both sides, but analysts say the latest broadcast by Iran may be interpreted as an attempt to step up the pressure.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad says Britain should acknowledge its personnel trespassed in his country’s territory and apologise. But the Foreign Office has refused, and says it is still waiting for a response from Tehran to a diplomatic missive sent last week.
London has also refused to confirm reports that it is considering sending a high-ranking naval official to deliver assurances that the Royal Navy would not knowingly stray into Iranian waters.