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    Iran, UK must provide details of sailor detention to UN - Russia

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    Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday London and Tehran should contact the UN as soon as possible and present details of the British sailors' detention so that the situation could be settled.

    MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday London and Tehran should contact the UN as soon as possible and present details of the British sailors' detention so that the situation could be settled.

    On March 23, the U.K. Defense Ministry announced that Iran had detained 15 Royal Navy sailors and marines from the HMS Cornwall in Iraqi territorial waters, which in accordance with a UN Security Council mandate under Resolution 1723 was inspecting ships in the Persian Gulf.

    "It is known that Britain and Iran assess this incident differently, and in particular, cite different coordinates of the place of detention. This calls for a preparation of an independent report by the UN secretariat, which requires that the sides quickly provide it with information," ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin told journalists.

    "We hope such actions will contribute to the problem's soonest settlement," he said.

    The Iranian Embassy in London earlier issued a statement in which it said the sailors and marines had been 0.5 kilometers (0.3 miles) inside Iranian waters at the time of detention.

    Iran's Foreign Ministry has officially accused the Royal Navy of illegally entering Iranian territorial waters.

    In response, London froze official bilateral official contacts, suspended the issuance of visas to Iranian officials and referred the situation to the UN Security Council Wednesday.

    The Security Council expressed serious concern over the detention of the sailors, and urged the Iranian leadership to allow British diplomats to visit the detainees.

    Russia, a veto-wielding member in the 15-nation UN Security Council, blocked any tougher statements, including the immediate release of the sailors.

    Kamynin earlier explained Moscow's veto by saying that "the facts should be examined thoroughly and without politicization" before the UN Security Council adopts any serious measures.

    Iranian authorities said earlier Tehran would ignore the Security Council's statement.

    "This incident should be resolved bilaterally. Attempts by the British government to attract a third side, including the UN Security Council, will lead to nothing," the Iranian leadership said in a statement.

    Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Thursday that London should admit the territorial violation, as it would help secure the release of the 15 sailors.

    Iran has said London should send a special commission to Tehran to investigate the incident.

    Iran's Foreign Ministry Saturday called on the European Union not to interfere with the situation.

    "The EU should not interfere with bilateral problems of Iran and Britain. The Iranian Foreign Ministry calls on European states' representatives to abstain from unconsidered and irresponsible statements regarding the detention of 15 British servicemen who illegally entered Iran's territorial waters," the ministry said.

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