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Blair Says Iran Will Face Continued Isolation Over British Sailor Crisis


British Prime Minister Tony Blair is warning that Iran will face continued isolation if it keeps acting the way it has with 15 captive British sailors and marines.

In a brief statement to reporters Friday, Mr. Blair said people's sense of disgust with Iran is only enhanced by seeing the captives being paraded around and manipulated. He said there is only one solution to the crisis - that they be released safe.

The Iranian embassy in London today released a third letter from the only female in the group of detainees, Faye Turney. In it, she says she has been "sacrificed" to use her word because of the policies of the United States and Britain.

Earlier, Iranian television broadcast video of a male sailor, Nathan Thomas Summers, apologizing for illegally entering Iranian waters in the northern Persian Gulf last week. He was shown sitting with the female detainee and another serviceman. The TV channel previously showed a similar taped confession from the woman.

Britain maintains that its naval personnel were seized in Iraqi waters.

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council expressed "grave concern" about the detention, and called for an early resolution to the standoff.

European Union foreign ministers are to discuss the crisis at a meeting in Germany Friday, and are expected to express solidarity with Britain.

The British Foreign Office confirmed that its embassy in Tehran has received a message from the Iranian government, but it did not disclose the contents. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the message is being given "serious consideration" and that a formal response will be sent to Iran soon.

Turkey confirms that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised to consider a Turkish request for Tehran to free the woman detainee.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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