Iran Seizes 5 British Yacht Crew Members

Vessel nabbed en route from Bahrain to race in Dubai
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 30, 2009 2:12 PM CST
A map of the Persian Gulf.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Iran is holding five British sailors after stopping their racing yacht in the Persian Gulf, the British government said today. The yacht, owned by Sail Bahrain, was stopped on its way from the tiny island country to Dubai on Wednesday when it "may have strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters," according to the Foreign Office. The seizure may be related to recent international pressure on Iran to drop its nuclear program, the AP reports.

The price of crude oil spiked on the news, rising $1.40, or 2%, to $77.45. The yacht had been set to compete in the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race last Thursday. The men are "still in Iran," according to the Foreign Office statement, and "believed to be safe," but it's unclear what their legal status is. Foreign secretary David Miliband says his office has been discussing the issue with Iran for nearly a week and hopes to have a resolution soon.

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