Wednesday, April 04, 2007

British Soldiers in Iran Freed?

So it would appear. Ahmadinejad said it was a gesture of goodwill and friendship.

Me, I'm more interested in this:

The action was a goodwill gesture for the Iranian new year, he said, adding that Iran had received a letter from Britain promising not to intrude into Iranian waters.

"The British government sent a letter to our Foreign Ministry and said it would not happen again. Of course, our decision had nothing to do with the letter. It's a decision made by our government to give a gift to the people of Britain," Ahmadinejad said in answer to a reporter's question.
Did this actually happen? The Guardian said that there was no confirmation, and the question of whether the UK relented on this point is huge, and I wasn't expecting them to do so.

Then again, it could be related to this:

Ahmadinejad's announcement came after Iran's state media reported that an Iranian envoy would be allowed to meet five Iranians detained by U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Another Iranian diplomat, separately seized two months ago by uniformed gunmen in Iraq, was released and returned Tuesday to Tehran.
This was the other question always lurking in the background- whether this was a tit-for-tat deal attempting to free the Iranian prisoners in Iraq. While they aren't freed yet, it looks like this may have opened the door.

In any case, it's good to hear that they're (probably) on their way home.

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