Iranian Embassy issues statement on arrest of British marines

( IRNA ) - Iranian Embassy in Kazakhstan here issued a statement on the illegal entry of 15 British marines to Iran's territorial waters, who were arrested by Iranian border guards.

According to the statement, upon entering Iranian waterway to the north of Persian Gulf and violating the recognized international Iran-Iraq borderline on March 23, the British marine forces who inspected the trade ships passing by, were taken into custody by Iranian border guards.

"In defense of its sovereignty right, to protect its borders and prevent illegal entry of foreigners into its territory, Iran had no option but stopping the British troops and arresting them.

"According to Article 30 of the International Law Commission on international responsibilities of governments, data and information registered in the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the clear confession of the arrested British servicemen to their violation of Iranian waterways, Britain's government should respect international commitments of other countries," it added.

Iran's embassy in Almaty said that since Iraq was occupied by foreign troops, this is not the first time that British forces trespass on the Iranian borders.

Turning to a similar violation of Iran's territorial waters by British troops in 2004, which resulted in their arrest, the statement said, "Through attempts of Iranian and British governments, the detainees were released and Britain's embassy in Tehran signed a written commitment to respect Iran's sovereignty and territorial waters by avoiding such illegal measures in future."

Based on the statement, condemning the measure, Iran's government called on the world peace-loving countries and international community to condemn this illegal move and urge Britain to respect international commitments.

"Given the documents proving violation of Iran's marine border by British troops, Iran calls on third countries and the European Union to avoid any biased approaches to interfere in the issue and let it be solved between the two sides," it said.

Stressing that this is a matter of mutual concern to the governments of Iran and Britain, it called on all countries to encourage the British government to seek bilateral ways for solving the problem.

" Iran has already warned the foreign troops in Iraq to respect its sovereignty and territory in their operations to avoid such problems," concluded the statement.

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