Financial Times, 31.03.2007

Britain and Iran sought on Friday to calm the dispute over Tehran’s capture of 15 UK naval personnel, following several days of rising tensions.

After days in which the dispute focused on the two countries’ denunciations of each other in the media, British officials welcomed an Iranian letter that indicated that more traditional diplomatic forms of contact were now being established.

It’s good that a channel of communication has been opened,” said a Downing Street official of the letter, which was delivered to the UK on Thursday. “It’s important that we are able to have a conversation with the Iranians about this, although other acts they are engaging in do not help.”

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