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33

The U.K. May Lift Restrictions on Iran

The U.K. sailors and marines were officially freed following Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's news conference

Great Britain will soon consider lifting its restrictions on Iran now that 15 of its sailors held in Iranian custody for nearly two weeks have been released, the British Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The U.K. sailors and marines were officially freed following Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's news conference Wednesday, during which he called the release "a gift" to the British people. On March 28, the British Foreign Ministry said it would freeze business contacts with Iran and cancel official visits and the issuance of visas to Iranian officials.

Iran detained 15 British seamen in the Gulf March 23 for allegedly violating its maritime border with Iraq. Britain has insisted the servicemen were in Iraqi waters under a UN mandate, and were returning in dinghies to the HMS Cornwall after patrolling oil platforms.