Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor and James Bone in New York
March 26, 2007

BRITAIN'S crisis with Iran deepened last night after Iran's Foreign Minister accused a group of captured British servicemen of committing an act of "aggression", only hours after Tony Blair appealed for their release.
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“The charge against them is their illegal entrance into Iranian territorial waters,” Manouchehr Mottaki, the Foreign Minister, told a press conference in New York.

In a telephone conversation with Mr Mottaki last night Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, “made extremely clear our view that our personnel were operating in Iraqi waters, called for their immediate return, and asked for immediate consular access to them”, a spokesman said

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