Iranian gifts 'pathetic junk'

LONDON - The youngest British captive held by Iran said yesterday that the gifts the Iranians gave to the seized sailors were a cheap load of old junk - and they stole his iPod.

LONDON - The youngest British captive held by Iran said yesterday that the gifts the Iranians gave to the seized sailors were a cheap load of old junk - and they stole his iPod.

Royal Navy Able Seaman Arthur Batchelor, 20, said the suits they were given were "tacky", the CDs and DVDs do not work and there was no sign of his iPod portable media player, supposedly worth about R2500.

The 15 sailors and marines, seized in the northern Persian Gulf on March 23, were given the gifts when their 13-day ordeal at the hands of the Revolutionary Guards ended.

They were seen examining them on Iranian TV.

The 11 books Batchelor was given were in English. They were mostly aimed at trying to convert the reader to Islam, with titles like "Youth and Morals", "The Divine Intervention" and "Knowing God". He also received some toffees and a bag of nuts.

"They're a bit pathetic," Batchelor told the Daily Mirror newspaper of the gifts.

"I don't know what they're trying to prove by giving us books on morality and their religion." - Sapa-AFP

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