– Britain’s legal steps to force Iran to return 15 seized … – Britain’s legal steps to force Iran to return 15 seized sailors has resulted in a total freeze by Britain on all contacts with Iran. The decision excepts discussions for the return of the captives.

Tension – and oil prices – have mounted as both international and domestic pressure increases on Iran to release the sailors, who it has displayed on television as the propaganda and diplomatic wrangle enters a more dangerous phase.

British officials released detailed maps and coordinates they said proved the detained navy and marine personnel were operating 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territorial waters.

Iran said Wednesday the detainees were arrested 0.3 miles inside Iranian waters, underscoring what some experts say is the uncertain nature of the boundary that is at the heart of the dispute.

The freeze will include diplomatic contacts, trade missions and the issuance of visas to Iranian government officials, the Foreign Office said.

The images, on Iran’s state-operated Arabic language Alalam TV, showed the detainees in a small inflatable raft, which apparently was shot during the boat-seizing operation, then cut to them dining. Turney was then shown wearing a black headscarf and smoking a cigarette, red-faced and apparently nervous.

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