Britons oppose military action to free sailors

Most Britons oppose immediate military action to free 15 navy personnel detained in Iran, and believe the government will resolve the crisis peacefully, a poll released Saturday suggests. Only 8 percent of respondents to the survey for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said Britain should prepare to use military force at this stage, nine days into the crisis. Asked if force should be used as a last resort, 48 percent were opposed and 44 percent in favor. Eight British sailors and seven marines were detained by Iranian naval units March 23 while patrolling for smugglers near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab, a waterway that has long been a disputed dividing line between Iraq and Iran. Teheran says the crew was in Iranian waters, but Britain insists its troops were on the Iraqi side of the maritime border.