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Brownback Condemns Iranian Naval Capture

Calls for immediate release of British sailors and Marines


Contact Brian Hart, Becky Ogilvie, Sam Brownback, United States Senator - Kansas, 202-224-6521


WASHINGTON, Mar. 23 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today condemned Iran for capturing and detaining 15 British servicemen off the coast of Iraq, and called for their immediate release.


"Iran must immediately release all 15 British sailors and Marines," said Brownback.  "There is no excuse for Iranian naval vessels outside of Iran to take British naval personal hostage at gunpoint.  The British servicemen were conducting routine inspections under international mandate.  They must be returned safely, unconditionally and without delay."


Fifteen British sailors and Marines we captured by Iran in the Persian Gulf around 10:30 a.m. local time and taken into custody.  The British forces were conducting routine inspections of merchant vessels in Iraqi waters in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1723.


Brownback continued, "Americans need no reminder of this regime's history of hostage-taking.  I sincerely hope the Iranians are not trying to sway the outcome of the upcoming U.N. vote on sanctions.  Ahmadinejad should immediately and fully explain this situation to the world.  Until this is resolved, I call on the State Department to rescind Ahmadinejad's visa to visit the United Nations.  Iran should understand that they will be held accountable for this type of behavior."


Last night, the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007 was introduced in the Senate.  This legislation will increase sanctions on Iran and pressure other countries and entities that are complicit in uranium enrichment for Iran.  Brownback is an original co-sponsor of this bill.