( 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. The Foreign Office in London, meanwhile, said Britain is seeking condemnation of Iran at the United Nations.
The seizure of 15 British sailors and marines took place during operations in Iraqi waters under a U.N. Security Council mandate, said the Foreign Office official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject.
"There are some plans to say something on behalf of the United Nations (about the seized troops) but they have not been finalized," said the official.
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.
Britain asked the Security Council to support a call for the immediate release of the detainees, saying in a statement Wednesday they were operating in Iraqi waters under a mandate from the Security Council and at the request of Iraq, according to council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the text was not released.
On Wednesday, Britain announced it was freezing relations with Iran.