Release of Iranian Diplomat not Related to Release of British Marines

Iran’s First Vice-President Parviz Dawoodi said that the release of the second Secretary of Iran’s Embassy in Baghdad, Jalal Sharafi, was in no way related to the pardoning of the 15 British troops who trespassed on Iran’s waters. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting on ‘Secure Future with Investment in Health’ here in Tehran on Sunday, Dawoodi reiterated that the said events were two fully separate issues, and added that, as President Ahmadinejad has mentioned, if Iran were supposed to enter such a trend (i.e. exchanging the two sides’ incarcerated citizens), then it should swap him with no fewer than 100 thousand people since the Islamic Republic believes that Sharafi is equivalent to 100 thousand people in value.

He further reiterated that the British marines have been pardoned in compliance with Islamic kindness and affection and on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH).

“Although they violated the borders of our country, they became subjected to Islamic affection and mercy,” Dawoodi said.

Meantime, the official viewed abduction of Iranian diplomats in Iraq as an act of aggression, and underlined that those in charge should be accountable for their action.

Asked to comment on the statements made by the British troops after returning home, he stated that detainees were not distressed when they were in Iran, adding, “This illustrates that the Islamic Republic of Iran has treated them in accordance with the Islamic values and with full respect.”

He further pointed out that the BBC interview was attended by only some of the said detainees, and stated, “These individuals were reading a written text, meaning that they did not even express their own views. In addition, they were evidently anxious, which shows that the interview was set by Britain.”

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