Iran Warns EU against Intervention in Tehran-London Affairs

Iran’s foreign ministry, in reaction to the Friday statement of the EU’s ministerial meeting in Bremen, Germany, warned the European Union against interference in Iran-Britain bilateral issues. In a statement, a copy of which has been faxed to FNA, the Iranian foreign ministry rejected the biased and interventionist stances of the European Union on the detention of the 15 British marines after their illegal entry into Iran’s territorial waters, and demanded the European countries to refrain from uttering any irresponsible and improper statement in the said regard.

The foreign ministry also reminded the EU officials of the corroborative and undeniable documents substantiating violation of Iran’s waters by the British military troops, and advised them to pay attention to the said documents and papers before rendering any illogical support to the British government.

The foreign ministry further warned the European Union to avoid issuing unfounded statements and improper intervention in an issue that just concerns the Islamic Republic and British governments.

It also asked EU to persuade the British government into pursuing bilateral solutions to remove the problem and refraining from adoption of any measure which could complicate and procrastinate solution of the issue.

The European Union has demanded that Iran immediately and unconditionally release 15 British sailors and marines and warned of undefined “appropriate measures” if Tehran does not comply.

A statement from EU foreign ministers in Bremen, Germany, on Friday backed British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s statements that the naval personnel were not in Iranian waters when they were seized a week ago after they searched a civilian vessel.

Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said he would be in contact with the Iranian leadership “in the coming days, in the coming hours” over the issue. He said he had already talked to Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, and would try to contact President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The ministers also issued a statement calling on Iran to “immediately inform” the British government about the whereabouts of the captives and give British diplomats access to them.

“The European Union repeats its call for the immediate and unconditional release of the British Royal Naval personnel.”

If the British sailors are not released, the 27-member EU “will decide on appropriate measures,” the statement said without elaborating.

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