EU adds to pressure on Iran

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Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

EU adds to pressure on Iran



Staff and agencies
Friday March 30, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The EU today called for the unconditional and immediate release of the 15 British sailors by Iran as tensions escalated following the emergence of a third propaganda video from the detainees.
Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, warned Tehran of "appropriate measures" - seen as a threat of trade sanctions - if it did not release the marines and Royal Navy personnel. Mr Solana said British citizens were the concern of the 27-nation bloc.
The EU foreign ministers, meeting in Bremen, Germany, also called on Iran to "immediately inform" the British government about the whereabouts of the captives.
Earlier today, Iranian TV screened footage of Royal Marine Nathan Thomas Summers apologising for "trespassing" in Iranian waters.
A letter was also released - the third purportedly written by Leading Seaman Faye Turney - which criticised US and UK foreign policy.
The letter said she had been "sacrificed due to the intervening policies of the Bush and Blair governments", adding that she and her 14 colleagues were receiving better treatment than Iraqis held in Abu Ghraib, the scene of an abuse scandal in 2004.
"Whereas we hear and see on the news the way that prisoners were treated in Abu Ghrayb (sic) and other Iraqi jails by the British and American personnel, I have received total respect and faced no harm," it reads.
"It is now our time to ask our government to make a change to its oppressive behavior (sic) towards other people.
"I believe that for our countries to move forward we need to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and leave the people of Iraq to start rebuilding their lives."
The letter's release, by the Iranian embassy in London, came after Iranian television broadcast footage of the "confession" by Mr Summers.
On the state-run al-Alam television channel, he said he wanted to "deeply apologise" to the Iranian people for "trespassing".
Prompted by someone speaking English off screen, he said the captured personnel had been treated well, served "good food" and were "grateful no harm has came to us".
The tape showed clear signs of editing, suggesting his words were being manipulated.
"We entered Iranian waters without permission," he said. "We were arrested by Iranian border guards, and I would like to apologise to the Iranian people for this."
Referring to 2004, when eight British personnel were held for three days, Mr Summers said the latest incident had taken place despite UK assurances that "it would not happen again".
The language in the EU statement on the 15 sailors' detention was stronger than the "grave concern" statement agreed by the UN security council last night.
Iran's UN mission condemned the security council statement as "unacceptable, unwarranted and unjustifiable", and said the dispute should be settled by the Iranian and British governments.
The prime minister, Tony Blair, today reiterated his disgust at the use of the footage, warning that Tehran faced "increasing isolation" on the issue, but stressed that the British approach must be "calm and determined" because "it is the lives of the personnel that come first".
The new TV footage showing Mr Summers also cut away to show some other captives, including Leading Seaman Turney.
The US military today backed Britain's assessment that the Royal Navy crew had been in Iraqi waters when they were captured.
"We agree with the British that the Iranian claims are not credible," Major General Michael Barbero, the deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said.
Maj Gen Barbero said the appraisal was based on information the British had shared about the location of the ship and British forces in relation to Iraqi waters, but declined to comment on whether the US had independent information.
Not all the 15 service personnel arrested by Iran have been named, but these are the people identified so far:
• Faye Turney, the 26-year-old married mother of a three-year-old daughter. Leading Seaman Turney is originally from Shropshire.
• Nathan Thomas Summers, a Royal Navy sailor.
• Paul Barton, who is believed to live with his mother Melanie and sister Stephanie in Southport.
• Adam Sperry, a 22-year-old Royal Marine from Leicester.
Mr Sperry's uncle, 49-year-old Ray Cooper, today said the TV footage of the captives had given the family some comfort. "To see him, it's great," he said. "He looked brilliant, if a bit thin. Everyone is a bit cheerier now."
Mr Cooper added that the hostages were being used as political pawns and should be released immediately.


appraisal- oszacowanie, ocena
captive- więzień, pojmany
capture- schwytać
condemn- potępiać
decline- uchylać się, odmawiać
detainee- aresztowany, zatrzymany
detention- areszt, zatrzymanie
footage- materiał filmowy
pawn- zastaw
prompt- pobudzac, podsuwać (myśl)
purportedly- rzekomo
reiterate- wielokrotnie powtarzać
release- zwalniać; zwolnienie; wydawać, publikować
unconditional- bezwarunkowy
whereabouts- miejsce pobytu


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