Iran: Female sailor's release may be delayed

Iran Materials 29 March 2007 16:27

( AP ) - Iran may delay the release of the female British sailor if Britain takes the issue to the U.N. Security Council or freezes relations, the country's top negotiator Ali Larijani said Thursday.

Speaking on Iranian state radio, Larijani said: "British leaders have miscalculated this issue."

If Britain follows through with its policies on the 15 British sailors and marines detained by Iran last week, Larijani said "this case may face a legal path" - a clear reference to Iran's prosecuting the sailors in court.

Earlier Thursday, Britain asked the Security Council to support a call for the immediate release of detainees, saying in a statement they were operating in Iraqi waters under a mandate from the Security Council and at the request of Iraq. The issue was expected to be debated Thursday.

On Wednesday, Britain announced it was freezing relations with Iran.