EU won't freeze exports to Iran
Mar 31 08:36 AM US/Eastern
LONDON, March 31 (UPI) -- The European Union has refused to support Britain's call to freeze $28 billion in export trade with Iran until 15 British sailors are freed.
France urged avoiding inflaming the confrontation and the Dutch noted it was important that the dialogue with Iran continue, the Times of London said Saturday. EU ministers met in Germany Friday night to discuss the impasse about the detention of the British naval personnel for allegedly trespassing in Iranian waters.
A new letter from the Iranian Foreign Ministry dropped an apology demand but called for a "guarantee to avoid the recurrence of such acts." It was unclear whether the ministry spoke for the Revolutionary Guards believed to be holding the detainees, the Times said.
Iran released another video showing one British sailor, Nathan Summers, being pressed to apologize. Iran also released another letter from detainee Faye Turney, in which she wrote she has "received total respect and faced no harm."
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Iran's actions only "enhance people's sense of disgust."
Soccer fans in Iran reportedly chanted "Death to England" and burned Blair in effigy. Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami said Britain "is a failed, isolated power" and "a middleman for America."