Breaking: Iran says it will release woman sailor; Update: Set to air video "confession"? Update: Iran will let British diplomats meet with sailors

Today or tomorrow, according to the banner at Meanwhile, Blair has unleashed his dreaded “new phase” in the standoff: a freeze on all diplomatic matters with Iran unrelated to the hostage crisis and public presentation of GPS evidence that the ships were, indeed, in Iraqi waters. Iran has already responded on the latter point. The Beeb has a graphic.

Standby for updates.

Update: The report about the woman sailor comes from Turkish TV, quoting the Iranian foreign minister.

Update: Iran’s playing games with the GPS coordinates. From the Guardian link:

Vice Adm. Charles Style told reporters that the Iranians had provided a position on Sunday – a location that he said was in Iraqi waters. By Tuesday, Iranian officials had given a revised position 2 miles east, placing the British inside Iranian waters – a claim he said was not verified by global positioning system coordinates.

“It is hard to understand a legitimate reason for this change of coordinates,” Style said.

Style gave the satellite coordinates of the British crew as 29 degrees 50.36 minutes north latitude and 048 degrees 43.08 minutes east longitude, and said it had been confirmed by an Indian-flagged merchant ship boarded by the sailors and marines.

Update: Looks like there’s a price for letting her go.

The female British sailor detained by Iran along with 14 others after their illegal entry to Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf has apologized to Tehran for the incursion.

In an interview to be broadcast later on Wednesday on television, Faye Turney, apologized for the violation of the Iranian sovereignty by the British navy service people on Friday.

She said Iranians have treated her and the other soldiers in a humane, moral manner.

Update: Iran says it may let Turkish diplomats in to see the sailors.

Update: Changed the headline from “woman Marine” to “woman sailor.” An e-mailer in a position to know tells us there are no women in the Royal Marines, although there are in the Royal Navy.

Update: Video of the female soldier is now being shown on Iranian TV. Here’s the only clip I’ve found thus far which contains audio (briefly).

Naturally, they’ve slapped a headscarf on her.

And here are the screencaps of her letter to her family. It’s pure propaganda. “[W]e had apparently gone into Iranian waters…”


“I have written a letter to the Iranian people to apologise for us entering into their waters…”


“Hopefully it won’t be long until I am home to get ready for Molly’s birthday party with a present from the Iranian people.”


Update: Okay, Sky’s got the whole clip. There’s not much to it. “Obviously we trespassed into their waters,” she says, and praises their compassion.

Update: I guess this is good news but all arrows here point towards them being held for awhile. I figured Iran would release all 15 by Friday to show their “reasonableness.” That seems unlikely if they’re arranging for diplomatic visits.

As I write this, Drudge has the siren up claiming that Iran’s demanding an admission that the sailors were in Iranian waters in order to resolve the crisis. Blair can’t do that and now, having drawn this line, neither can Iran back off from it. Looks like this is about to get interesting.