TEHRAN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar urged Russia to release the Greenpeace activists it detained during their protest against its oil drilling operations in the Arctic, Tehran Times daily reported on Saturday.
Ebtekar, also Head of Environmental Protection Organization of Iran, said if these activists were just protesting exploration of new hydrocarbon resources in the Arctic, they did it out of " concerns" about the global warming.
"I expect that the government of Russia, by considering this reality, to order an immediate release of the detainees," Ebtekar was quoted as saying.
On Sept. 18, 30 people aboard Arctic Sunrise protested Arctic oil drilling at a Gazprom oil platform off Russia's northern coast. They were later detained by Russian guards on "disproportionate" charges of piracy and then hooliganism.
No government is expected to stand against civil institutions and environmentalists who are concerned about the future of the earth, said Ebtekar.
"I, as a Champion of Earth, hope the Russian government will investigate the pros and cons of the issue and do not create hurdles for Greenpeace activists," she added.
Ebtekar was named one of the seven 2006 Champions of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Program, according to the report.