Iranian Seizure of Royal Navy Personnel

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 28th March 2007.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Opposition Whip (Commons) 12:33 pm, 28th March 2007

The only crumb of comfort in the Foreign Secretary's statement is that Iran officially is saying that there is no link with other issues. In her assessment, what link is actually being made in Iran with the arrest of the five Iranian diplomats at Christmas by the Americans, and with the 300 Iranians who are being held by the Americans? There appears to be a dispute between the State Department and the Pentagon about the merits of releasing some of those prisoners. Remarks have been attributed to General Petraeus, who has said that he is refusing to release them and that he intends to hold the prisoners

"until they run out of information or we run out of food".

What is her assessment of the actual reasons for the seizure of our personnel? What is the popular mood in Iran?