AFP: Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards are to put on public display three boats seized from British troops last year, state media reported on Thursday. In a move likely to revive British anger over the incident, the report said the captured boats -- which Britain has been trying to get back -- would be shown off to the public near where they were captured. AFP

TEHRAN - Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards are to put on public display three boats seized from British troops last year, state media reported on Thursday.

In a move likely to revive British anger over the incident, the report said the captured boats -- which Britain has been trying to get back -- would be shown off to the public near where they were captured.

They will be part of an exhibition marking the Iranian new year.

The British embassy in Tehran gave no immediate reaction to the report.

In June 2004, the Revolutionary Guards detained six British marines and two sailors for three days after claiming the units had strayed into Iranian waters along the waterway that divides southern Iraq from Iran.

The troops, involved in training Iraq river police, were on their way to the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

During their captivity, the troops were paraded blindfold on television and forced publicly to apologise for their "mistake", sparking widespread anger in Britain. One British newspaper report said they had also been subjected to a mock execution.

Iran insists that the boats were intercepted only after they entered Iranian waters but, after the released unit was debriefed, British officials said it appeared they were "forcibly escorted" over the maritime border by the Revolutionary Guards -- one of Iran's most powerful entities.