The detention of 15 British sailors by Iran on Friday in the Shatt al-Arab waterway echoes a similar incident in the disputed area in 2004.
On June 21 of that year, three British river-patrol boats carrying eight Royal Navy sailors were detained by Iran after apparently straying across the Shatt al-Arab waterway into Iranian territory, a situation that, some observers felt, provided Tehran with a timely opportunity to punish Britain and remind it and the United States not to ignore its voice in the region.
After top-level British-Iranian talks, the sailors were turned over to British diplomats on June 24 and taken to the British embassy in Tehran under tight security. They were then flown to Dubai. More here: Globe And Mail (Photo from the 2004 incident)
+ British sailors detained by Iranian forces in Gulf: Fifteen British sailors have been detained by Iranian forces in Iraqi waters. The members of the Royal Navy were detained in the Persian Gulf after boarding a merchant ship they believed was being used to smuggle cars into Iraq, said CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy.
Britain said the incident took place in Iraqi waters, where it has UN permission to routinely board and search merchant vessels