Iran Keeps Equipment of 15 British Marines

Equipment and weaponry of the 15 British marines were not returned to London, an informed source said here on Wednesday.

The 15 were arrested after they trespassed on Iranian waters on March 23rd and were pardoned by Iranian president on April 4th after remaining in incarceration for 11 days.

The source told FNA that two vessels, weapons and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices are among those equipment still kept by Tehran.

He further pointed out that the equipment, including the boats, of the 8 British marines who were released after they were arrested for violating Iran’s borders in mid July, 2004 are also kept in Iran.

The 15 were released after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued the required orders and consequently announced the news during a press conference here in Tehran on April 4th.

Also during the press conference, Ahmadinejad criticized the militaristic policies of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and said all the 15 troops, including 8 sailors and 7 British marines, were released in a bid to show the Iranians’ Islamic kindness and affection.

He said the 15 British marines were pardoned on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the Prophet of Islam and Christians’ eve of Easter.

Earlier during the same press conference, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad awarded a third degree medal of courage to the commander of Iran’s southwest coast guards, Captain Abol-Ghassem Amangah, for his prompt action in arresting the 15 British troops.

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