By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2007 9:04 AM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves to the media as he arrives at a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 4, 2007. Speaking in a small hall filled with reporters, clerics and civil...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The 15 captured British sailors are to be released immediately, says Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The surprise announcement came toward the end of an hour-long press conference, in which Ahmadinejad berated the British government for using the situation to create "media hype." He maintains that the Brits invaded Iran and says the decision to release the troops is a "gift."

The troops are due to be released after the press conference, which is still in progress, concludes. The first talks between senior British and Iranian diplomats took place last night, but no deal was reached.