Iran releases 5 British yachtsmen
Tehran, December 2, 2009
Iran released on Wednesday five British sailors who were detained last week when their 60-foot racing yacht drifted accidentally into Iran's Persian Gulf waters and was seized.
The elite Revolutionary Guard, whose navy had stopped the vessel, interrogated the yachtsmen and found that their 'illegal entry' into Iranian waters had been a mistake, the official IRNA news agency said.
The release is an overture to London, which has been trying to keep the incident from getting tangled up in politics -- not only in the rancor between Tehran and the West over Iran's nuclear issue but also the country's own internal postelection turmoil, which has pumped up the leadership's fears of foreign plots.