Arab channel will air sailor’s confession
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s official Arabic-language TV channel said Friday it would broadcast footage of a confession by one of the 15 detained British sailors.The move seemed to be an Iranian bid to step up the propaganda battle over where the sailors were when they were detained by the Iranian navy near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway on Friday last week.The Al-Alam channel newscaster said the taped confession would show a British sailor explaining how he and his colleagues entered Iranian waters “in an illegal way.” He did not identify the sailor, but added the tape would appear later Friday.Iran has demanded that Britain acknowledge that its sailors had violated Iranian waters, with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki saying Thursday that such an admission would help to secure the release of the 15 sailors and marines.Britain insists the sailors were seized in Iraqi waters, where they were searching merchant ships under a U.N. mandate, and said no admission of error would be made.At Britain’s instance, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday expressed “grave concern” over Iran’s seizure of the military personnel and called for an early resolution of the escalating dispute.The Turkish prime minister’s office said Friday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had indicated his government is willing to reconsider the release of the only female among the British captives.Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Ahmadinejad on Thursday evening, said Erdogan’s spokesman, Akif Beki. Ahmadinejad told the prime minister that Iran was “willing to reconsider the issue of the release of the woman crew member,” Beki said.
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