All captives say entered illegally, says Iran radio

TEHRAN (Reuters) - All 15 British sailors and marines detained by Iran have accepted they illegally entered Iranian waters despite Britain’s insistence they were in Iraqi territory, Iranian state radio reported on Monday.

An Iranian news agency suggested a recent shift in British policy from “clamorous ... policies” had encouraged Iran not to air the footage of all the British personnel. The agency report did not make clear what that British shift was.

“All 15 British soldiers arrested accepted they entered Iranian territorial waters illegally,” the state radio said.

Until now, Iranian state television has shown four of the Britons -- three men and one woman -- saying they illegally entered Iranian territory when they were detained on March 23.

Britain has dismissed the televised “confessions” and has described the footage of its personnel as unacceptable.

Iran’s ISNA news agency said Iran had footage of all the British sailors and marines “explaining details about their arrest in Iranian waters.”

“But because of some changes seen in the last two days in the clamorous British government policies it (the Iranian broadcaster) will not show the details of the interviews,” ISNA said.

ISNA did not specify what that shift was but Britain said on Sunday it was in direct communication with Iran. On Saturday, Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett said “everyone regrets that this position has arisen”.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Britain should have apologised. Iranian officials have also criticised Britain for taking the issue to the United Nations.