Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bid to free British yacht crew detained by Iran.

I have always been willing to give Iran the benefit of the doubt, subject to inspection, when it comes to the nuclear issue, but this is becoming tedious.

Efforts are continuing by the Foreign Office to secure the release of five Britons detained by the Iranian navy while sailing from Bahrain to Dubai.

Their Volvo 60 yacht backed by the UK's Team Pindar was stopped on 25 November.

The FCO said the crew - Luke Porter, Oliver Smith, David Bloomer, Oliver Young and Sam Usher - may have "strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters".

When they picked up members of the UK military a while back, we all knew enough about UK and US forces working inside Iran to destabilise the nation to think that the Iranian claims might just have merit. But, in this instance, it seems very clear that these people are simply civilians who got into trouble at sea.

Dubai-Muscat Offshore Race organisers said the crew, who were participating in a race, may have been "drifting" after experiencing propeller problems.

Louay Habib, from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, told the BBC the shore crew for the boat the Kingdom of Bahrain had said "there was no wind at the time, and they told us that they were organising for a tow to come and get them".

He added: "It's purely speculation but they would have probably been drifting... in 10 hours they could well have strayed into Iranian waters."

Obama is doing his best to offer Iran a way out of the impasse of the past few years, but incidents like this don't endear the Iranians to anyone.

Ahmadinejad should release them as soon as possible. His credibility is already shot to pieces, and this won't help him one little bit.

Click here for full article.

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