How can the stand-off between the UK and Iran be resolved?
The UK has announced a freeze on all bilateral business with the Iranians until they release the 15 marines and sailors seized in the Gulf last week.
Iran continues to insist that the British personnel were in Iranian territorial waters when they were taken on Friday.
How is the crisis playing out in Iran? Listeners to the BBC World Service's Persian broadcasts have been writing to bbcpersian.com with their views. These are some of their comments:
As an Iranian I pray for the immediate release of the British mariners.
It is our obvious right to keep our borders safe. At least you saw your sailors they were safe, but what about our diplomats in Iraq.
Instead of arresting them, it would be better if they issued warnings to these British marines - if they really had entered Iranian territory - and then guide them to the International waters. In such an intense situation, it is not to the benefit of Iran to get itself involved in another political row.
Somebody (either Iranians or the British) has made a mistake and it does not need so much hue and cry! The story is becoming more like the arrest of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah in Lebanon, which resulted in a month of killing in that country. I am very surprised at Tony Blair's remarks, which makes the situation even more sensitive. It is not a positive step towards resolving the issue.
I think it seems impossible to say where exactly these marines where arrested, but I hope the Iranian government will release them as soon as possible, especially because of the current situation of Iran towards the international community. I think with regards to the recent remarks by Ayatollah Khamenei who said Iran might resort to illegal means (if the West does anything illegal towards Iran), it might be the case the Iran wants to get some concessions by arresting the UK marines. I hope they act more wisely about this issue.
I feel no compassion for the British sailors. They are transgressors and deserve to be punished. I am completely sure that the British sailors are safe and have not been subject to any torture. In my opinion Iran has detained them in a move to secure the release of the Iranian diplomats (held by the Americans in Iraq).
In my opinion the British are exaggerating the situation. With the current circumstances, it is inconceivable that Iran would have detained these soldiers with no reason. Actually, quite opposite to their propaganda, the Iranians are very careful not to give the West any excuse. I think such a risky act by Iran shows that the Iranians have really lost their patience. One would have to be bigheaded to come and invade a country from the other side of the world and then to violate its neighbours borders and expect no reaction at all.
Morteza, New York
Although I feel no compassion for the detained British sailors, but have to say that Iran's regime has acted far from expediency. I have no doubt that the sailors will not be subject to any torture and that they will be released very soon. Once again the Iranian regime will survive a crisis created by itself.
It is not important if the British sailors had really entered the Iranian waters or not. They were detained because of certain political circumstances and they will be released again under new political circumstances. It is useless to argue about the sailors' location. Because everything that happens in our country is politically motivated.
The so called Iranian officials are spoiling the reputation of our country. When our own people are getting detained and forced to confess under torture - many of whom later deny their confessions - one can guess how our reputation is going to be spoiled when such an act is done to a foreigner.
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