In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Ahmadinejad: Blair apologized to Iran

Posted by smeddum on June 4, 2009

Thu, 04 Jun 2009 01:34:21 GMT  Press TV

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says former British prime minister Tony Blair has sent a letter to apologize to Iran regarding the sailors’ case.

During a TV debate with his rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi which was broadcast live on Wednesday, he defended his foreign policy and said Blair’s letter had prompted his government to release the 15 British sailors who were captured by Iranian forces after trespassing in Iran’s waters in 2007.

“The sailors were captured and after the issue reached a climax, Mr. Blair sent a letter of apology. He said they would change their policy toward Iran. The related documents are in the Foreign Ministry … I believe that one of the most beautiful things the Islamic Republic did was the release of the sailors,” he said.

The remarks were made after Mousavi criticized Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy and mentioned the case as an example of the current administration’s failed policies.

He asked Ahmadinejad why after the Iranian forces arrested the sailors, the government created a crisis through calling for their execution and despite the hype, shortly afterwards the administration set them free and gave them gifts. 

Mousavi claimed that “the official see-off ceremony” at the time of the sailors’ departure was due to threats issued by Britain and that overall, the case damaged Iran’s reputation. 

The former Iranian prime minister also noted that President Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust had dear consequences for the Islamic Republic.

President Ahmadinejad, however, defended his polices and reiterated that his performance in the international arena had brought dignity to Iran. 

RZS/SME/RE

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