and equipment would be kept by the Iranians.
Iran threatened to prosecute the eight British sailors and marines. Senior British diplomats contacted their Iranian counterparts and pointed out that it was not in Iran's interest to start a major dispute with Britain at the moment. The British media were already having a grand old time with the story, making the British voters even more anti-Iranian. This was important because Iran is trying to repair the damage caused by being caught running an illegal nuclear weapons research project. The European Union is threatening to impose sanctions on Iran for this nuclear deception, and the Iranian cause will not be helped by infuriating the British public. The local Iranian coast guard unit, which is controlled by Islamic conservatives, wanted to punish the British troops for offending Iranian