Selling Iran Stories Sparks Furor in UK

A decision by the MoD to authorize the recently-freed sailors and marines to sell stories about their two-week detention in Iran drew rebuke from the opposition and relatives of Iraq war victims.

Selling Iran Stories Sparks Furor in UK
A decision by the British Defense Ministry (MoD) to authorize the recently-freed sailors and marines to sell stories about their two-week detention in Iran drew rebuke from the opposition and relatives of Iraq war victims, the Sunday Times reported on April 8.

"Many people who shared the anxiety of the hostages' abduction will feel that selling their stories is somewhat undignified and falls below the very high standards we have come to expect from our servicemen and women," said Liam Fox, the shadow defense secretary.

With the ministry's authorization, the navy personnel are expected to net as much as £250,000 between them.

The marines have agreed to equally share fees from newspapers and to give 10% to their service benevolent fund.

The sailors are likely to be keep their money individually, with Faye Turney, the only female in the group, likely to earn £150,000 from a joint deal with a newspaper and ITV.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday, April 4, pardoned the British navy personnel after 13 days in detention on charges of illegally entering Iranian territorial waters.

Tehran has released televised confessions by several of the sailors and marines, which they swallowed once back home.

Max Clifford, the UK's best known publicist and a consummate media manipulator, said the MoD was "frog-marching them out to win the propaganda war."

MoD officials argued the decision was justified because of the "exceptional circumstances" of the case.

Circus

Colonel Bob Stewart, a commander of British UN forces in Bosnia, was equally critical.

"I am appalled the MoD is encouraging them to profit from a military disaster. Some of them are acting like reality TV stars."

John Tindell, the father of Joe Tindell, another of the freed navy personnel, said his son had turned down an offer of £10,000.

"The MoD said if you want to earn money you are free to go out and do it. I was a bit surprised," he admitted.

"The MoD said to the marines, 'Go out there, tell the truth and make the money'."

Tindell added that the marines were planning to sell on eBay the vases given to them in their "goody bags" by the Iranians.

Before they left, the sailors were given an array traditional gifts that ranged from traditional handicrafts to Iranian pistachio nuts.

The navy personnel was quick to capitalize on the new authorization for interviews.

"I want £70,000," Dean Harris, 30, an acting sergeant in the Royal Marines, told a Sunday Times reporter.

"That is based on what the others have told me they have been offered," he elaborated.

"I know Faye has been offered a heck more than that. I am worth it because I was one of only two who didn't crack."

War Victims

The authorization also drew fire from relatives of British soldiers killed or injured in Iraq.

"This is wrong and I don't think it should be allowed by the MoD," said Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq's southern city of Basra.

"None of the parents who have lost loved ones in Iraq have sold their stories," she said.

The money the navy personnel will earn from selling their stories are more than service personnel maimed in Iraq or Afghanistan are paid.

The standard tariff for the loss of an arm is £57,500.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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