British sailors in Iranian custody

Five Britons held after their racing yacht apparently strayed into Iranian waters.

    The Kingdom of Bahrain, along with its British crew, were seized on November 25 [File]

    David Miliband, the UK's foreign minister, said: "FCO [foreign ministry] officials immediately contacted the Iranian authorities in London and in Tehran on the evening of 25 November, both to seek clarification and to try and resolve the matter swiftly.

    "Our ambassador in Tehran has raised the issue with the Iranian foreign ministry and we have discussed the matter with the Iranian embassy in London.

    "I hope this issue will soon be resolved. We will remain in close touch with the Iranian authorities, as well as the families."

    The AFP news agency identified the crew on Kingdom of Bahrain as: Oliver Smith, Oliver Young, Sam Usher, Luke Porter and David Bloomer, citing informed sources in London.

    British media noted the incident echoes the seizure of 15 British sailors by Iran while sailing in disputed waters in March 2007.

    They were released after about two weeks, but only after a tense diplomatic standoff between Iran and the UK.

    The Dubai-Muscat 360-nautical mile (667km) race, which first took place in 1992, passes through the Gulf into the Indian Ocean, via the Strait of Hormuz, before arriving in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

    Relations between Tehran and the West have deteriorated after the Islamic Republic announced on Sunday that it plans to build another 10 uranium enrichment plants.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.