Efforts underway to free British yacht crew held in Iran

uk-sailors_seizedIran confirmed the arrest Tuesday of five British sailors who were on a racing yacht, with one official saying they could be dealt with " severely", the country's semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

"We shall deal harshly with the five arrested UK citizens, if it is proven that they had ill intentions," Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie, the president's head of staff said according to the news agency.

Their vessel, a racing yacht called the Kingdom of Bahrain, was on its way from Bahrain to Dubai for a race when it was stopped by Iranian navy ships on November 25, the British Foreign Office confirmed.

The boat "may have strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters" when it was intercepted, a Foreign Office statement said.

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