Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The ante is up: Iran captures 5 British Sailors

The Telegraph:

Ali Reza Tangsiri, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards navy, told the country's Fars news agency: "The Britons have been arrested by the Revolutionary Guards' naval forces. Confronting foreign forces and detaining them in the Gulf is the Revolutionary Guards' duty."
The five were crewing the racing yacht Kingdom of Bahrain, from Bahrain to Dubai when it was stopped on Wednesday. It is thought to have strayed less than 500 yards inside Iranian waters.

The men are civilians, which Iran will be working to confirm. In the meantime British Foreign Secretary had strong words of support for the young men and urged the Iranian government to free them, well no......not exactly:

"I think it is important to say that these are civilians, not Royal Navel personnel," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday morning.
"It seems that they may have strayed inadvertedly into Iranian waters."
While he hoped the Iranian authorities would deal with the matter "promptly and clearly" he appeared unwilling to put pressure on the regime.
He said: "The [Iranian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be making statement about it today.
"From our point of view it is a purely consular matter involving five civilians and we look forward to it being treated as such.
"There's certainly no confrontation or argument. As far as we are aware, these people are being well treated, which is right and what we would expect of a country like Iran."