Violation of Iranian Territorial Waters Not Defensible Issue

The following articles are reprinted from the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)

Tabriz, East Azarbaijan, March 31, IRNA

A Majlis deputy said here Saturday that the violation of Iranian territorial waters by British naval personnel was not a defensible issue in international relations.

Majlis Legal Commission Deputy Mohammad-Hossein Farhangi was speaking to IRNA about the ongoing standoff over the arrest of 15 British marines by Iranian forces in Arvand River in the northern part of the Persian Gulf on March 23.

"The inhabitants of any country have the legal right to secure and internationally respected borders," he said.

The MP urged serious investigation into the presence of British naval forces in Iranian territorial waters on March 23 while noting that Britain shares no martime borders with Iran.

"The illegal entry of British naval forces into Iran's territorial waters has been politicized by British officials and, instead of resolving the issue and restoring the status quo, will only lead to complication of the situation.

"The British government has been acting aggressively in recent days and has not only ignored the rights of another country but seems to be preparing the ground for further aggression," he said.

The MP from the northwestern city of Tabriz condemned Britain's aggressive move last week of illegally entering Iranian territorial waters and said it was no longer an issue.

"There may have initially been doubt on whether the British government had illegally entered Iranian waters, but after the admission of (two) of its forces and instead of admitting its mistake it used propaganda and pressure to justify its move. Such an attitude will not be in favor of the aggressor," the MP said.

"The confession of the two marines can remove tensions but London, instead of admitting its mistake, has created obstacles to removing such tensions," Farhangi added.

The British government has made the issue of the arrest of its marine forces in Iranian waters into a crisis instead of trying to resolve it through diplomatic channels.

Two of the 15 arrested British marines have said their vessel "obviously entered" Iranian territorial waters and have apologized to the Iranian nation.


Britain Should Guarantee Not to Violate Iran's Waters Again

Tehran, March 29, IRNA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent on Thursday a message to British embassy in Tehran, calling for guarantee by London to avoid violating Iranian territorial waters in the future.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran severely protests against the violation of its territorial waters in Persian Gulf, and while underlining the importance of international laws and respect for the sovereignty of nations cautions the London government of the consequences of such violations," the message read.

According to the message, Iranian officials have declared that 15 British marines, fully armed, entered Iran's territorial waters aboard two boats on Friday March 23.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry is also to deliver a letter to the United Nations in protest at the violation of its territorial waters.

Some 14 male and one female British marines who had illegally entered Iran's territorial waters, were arrested by Iranian coast guards in the Persian Gulf.