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18 November 2017 08:09 (South Africa)

Iran navy expansion program? Iranians seize yacht crew, boat

The UK foreign office has announced that five UK citizens (and the yacht) have been detained by the Iranian navy while the Brits were sailing the yacht from Bahrain to Dubai for an upcoming sailing race. The yacht was initially stopped on November 25. The UK says the crew may have "strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters", while race organizers say the crew may have been drifting after having propeller problems. Propeller problems?  Don't yachts usually have sails and anchors? A Dubai Offshore Sailing Club rep told the BBC, meanwhile, that there was no wind and the crew was waiting for a tow. There are no reports that the crew is being mistreated. The UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said that he hopes the issue would be resolved soon but sources note that the timing is particularly awkward, given the UK's condemnation of Iran's plan to extend its nuclear program and there are fears the Iranians could use the detention as a way to seek extra leverage re the nuclear dispute. For more, read the BBC

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