British sailors held by Iranian navy

Five British sailors have been detained in Iran after their racing yacht was stopped by the Iranian navy while sailing from Bahrain to Dubai, the Foreign Office said tonight.

Five British sailors have been detained in Iran after their racing yacht was stopped by the Iranian navy while sailing from Bahrain to Dubai, the Foreign Office said tonight.

The racing yacht owned by Sail Bahrain and crewed by the five Britons was stopped by Iranian naval vessels last Wednesday.

The crew members are still in Iran. All are understood to be safe and well and their families have been informed.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: "FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) officials immediately contacted the Iranian authorities in London and in Tehran on the evening of November 25, 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."

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The Foreign Office said the yacht might have strayed "inadvertently' into Iranian waters.