April 5, 2007
It's homecoming day for the 15 British sailors and marines held captive
by Iran for nearly two weeks.
The group landed in London Thursday morning and quickly transferred to a military chopper headed for private reunions with their families at a
military base in Devon.
"We are glad that our service personnel returned safe and unharmed from their captivity" said Tony Blair, British Prime Minister.
The release of the prisoners capped a bizarre turn of events. For
days, Iran had been demanding an apology from Great Britain for
allegedly invading its waters, but on Wednesday President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad abruptly changed his mind.and announced the release of the prisoners. He called it an Easter gift to the British people.
No one knows for certain what motivated Iran to release the sailors, but
it is casting the so-called rogue regime in a much softer light.
While still in Tehran, in a carefully orchestrated photo op, one of British servicemen even expressed his support for the Iranians.
"I will definitely promote Iran. Actually, I think there is a lot of ignorance in the UK about Iran and the people" said Lieutenant Felix Carman, Royal British Navy.
The group is expected to be debriefed for several days at the military
base and then they may begin telling everyone else about their two
weeks of captivity in Iran.