Bishop Tom Burns, Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces has issued the following statement appealing for Iran's Supreme Leader to intervene on behalf of the Navy personnel captured more than a week ago. "The group of sailors and marines from HMS CORNWALL is co-operating with the Iranian authorities to the best of their ability. I offer them my prayers, said daily for them, as well as for their families and loved ones, at this time of dislocation and separation. I also offer them my support, given the pressure that they are under. They have sought to act with dignity and integrity. They are obviously trying to do their best to defuse a difficult situation. Hence, all of us appreciate the Iranian government's resolve that they should be well treated and properly looked after. This attitude is therefore the correct response that would be expected of any internationally reputable nation. "This approach is also in accordance with both the Islamic and the Christian faith. For, there is the chance to express a unity of purpose on both sides, whereby everyone seeks justice and forgiveness where that is appropriate. This gesture of repentance has a common root in each religion. "Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameni, in the name of his nation and in the name of Islam, has the unique opportunity to gain the world's respect for its Islamic laws and values. As one religious leader to another, I therefore ask him to show generosity by allowing one Navy to return the sailors and marines of another to their mother-ship. Britain will then be free to state that every care will be taken to avoid a similar situation in the future. Iran must know that such assurances will be readily given. "This way ahead could allow both nations to break the impasse that currently exists between them." + Tom M Burns Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces
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