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Detained Britons say crew 'intruded' in Iran's waters

Story Highlights

NEW: Iran claiming footage is another "confession" sailors trespassed
NEW: Video has no sound; shows detainees pointing to a map
• Hundreds of protesters gather outside British embassy in Tehran
• "The Iranians must give back the hostages," U.S. president says
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- New video on Iranian government-run TV networks Sunday showed two of the 15 British detainees being held in Iran.

The brief clips showed two men, one at a time, standing in front of a map. The first man, who does not appear to identify himself, points to where the crew was "when we were seized."

He said it was "apparently at this point, here, from their maps, which is inside Iranian territorial waters." (Watch the two crew members describe their 'intrusion') Video

He added: "So far we're being treated very well by all the people here. They have looked after us and made sure that we're getting enough food, and we've been treated very well by them, so we thank them for that."

The second man, who identifies himself by a name sounding like "Lt. Felix Carmen," also explains where on the map the 15 Britons were taken.

He added, "I'd like to say to the Iranian people, I can understand why you are so angry about our intrusion into your waters."

The tape then freezes.

Both men are dressed in military fatigues.

Video clips taken on the water were shown as the two men talked.

The clips were shown first on the Arabic-language network Al-Alam, with the Britons' sound muted and a voiceover explaing what the men had allegedly said.

A short time later, a version with sound and in English appeared on a different government-run channel that broadcasts in Farsi.

The British Foreign Office called the footage unacceptable. Although Iran has said captives admitted to "trespassing" into Iranian territorial waters, Britain and Iraq say the crew were legally in Iraqi waters.

Iran detained the 15 marines and sailors on March 23 as they were making anti-smuggling patrols near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab, at the northern end of the Persian Gulf.

The waterway has long been the site of tensions between Iraq and Iran, which both claim it as their territory.

The Britons are being held in an undisclosed location without access to British diplomats.

Sincere apologies or coerced statements?

On Friday, British sailor Nathan Thomas Summers appeared in a video on Al-Alam, saying he was "grateful no harm has come to us," and apologizing for "entering your waters without permission."

On Wednesday, Al-Alam aired video showing fellow sailor Faye Turney wearing a black scarf covering her hair, "admitting" that she and her crew had gone into Iranian waters. "Obviously we trespassed into their waters," she said.

It was not known when that videotape was shot, or if Turney, 26, was being coerced to speak.

Footage in that video also showed the other 14 British detainees eating.

Iran has also released three letters Friday from Turney, the lone woman among the 15, in which she apologizes for "entering Iranian waters."

CNN cannot independently confirm whether Turney wrote the letter, and does not know the conditions under which it was written.

Iran has not responded to speculations that the confessions were coerced. The country says British vessels clearly entered Iranian territory six times before the crew members were detained.

Release of the videos has caused outrage in London, where British officials accuse Iran of using the service members for propaganda reasons.

President Bush called Iran's detention of the sailors "inexcusable behavior" and called for their release, referring to them as "hostages."

"The Iranians took these people out of Iraqi water," said Bush, speaking Saturday at Camp David with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. "And it's inexcusable behavior."

The U.S. government had been notably quiet on the subject from the beginning, but Bush voiced strong opinions Saturday.

"The Iranians must give back the hostages," he said. "They were innocent. They were doing nothing wrong. And they were summarily plucked out of water." (Watch President Bush's address Video)

Violent protests to free detainees

Also on Sunday, hundreds of Iranian students crowded outside the British Embassy in Tehran, setting off firecrackers and hurling projectiles toward the compound, an embassy spokesman said. (Watch smoke billow from embassy compound Video)

No one was injured and there was no damage in the protest, which continued into the late afternoon, the spokesman said.

Video from earlier in the day showed Iranians of all ages crowded around the embassy while Iranian forces maintained a cordon around the peaceful crowd, which chanted and waved flags.

Iranian Ambassador Gholam-Reza Ansari said said his country had started a legal process to determine the guilt or innocence of the detainees. "If they are not guilty, they will be freed," said Ansari, who is in Russia.

"But the legal process is going on and has to be completed, and if they are found guilty, they will face the punishment," he said on Russian TV. (Watch Iranian ambassador call British sailors 'invaders' Video)

Ansari -- speaking to the TV news channel Vesti-24 -- also hinted that there could be a diplomatic settlement, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency in Iran.

"If the UK government admits its mistake and apologizes to Iran for its naval personnel's trespassing of Iranian territorial waters, the issue can be easily settled."

Iran's president called Britain "arrogant" Saturday for not apologizing, media in Iran reported.

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Saturday that Britain has written to Iran to seek a peaceful resolution to the standoff.

Third letter released

On Friday, Iran released a third letter purportedly written by detained British sailor Faye Turney, in which she claimed to have been "sacrificed" by British and U.S. policies and urged both countries to withdraw their troops from Iraq. (Full story)

The letter, the authenticity of which CNN cannot independently determine, followed two previous letters said to be written by Turney and released separately this week. (Watch Turney say what happened when she was captured Video)

Friday's letter was released just hours after Turney appeared with two other Britons in new video aired by Arabic language network Al Alam. (Text of letters)

In the video, one of the 15 detained service personnel held in Iran confessed to "entering your waters without permission."

"On the 23rd of March 2007 in Iranian waters we trespassed without permission," said Nathan Thomas Summers. The third detainee in the video has not been identified. (Watch detained British sailor make his 'confession' Video)

Summers said the Britons were being treated well, as did the Turney letter.

CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report


An unidentified member of the British crew detained by Iran appears in a new video shown on Iranian television Sunday.



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