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British boats seized

The week's news at a glance.

Shatt al-Arab, Iran

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard captured three British naval vessels this week and arrested their crews for allegedly straying into Iranian waters. The three boats were on a routine patrol of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which marks part of the border between Iran and Iraq. Iran said it would release the eight sailors once it was satisfied that the incursion was unintentional. In the meantime, it milked the arrests for full propaganda value, showing one of the sailors on Iranian state television saying, “I do apologize for entering Iranian territorial waters.” British diplomats tried to downplay widespread media speculation that the arrests were Iran’s way of getting back at Britain for having co-sponsored an International Atomic Energy Agency resolution criticizing Iran’s nuclear efforts.

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