The British government said it was in direct contact with Iran and examining options for new dialogue over the seized crew of 15 sailors and marines. Defense Secretary Des Browne said on Sunday that Britain was in "direct, bilateral communication with the Iranians." A Ministry of Defense spokeswoman said Browne was referring to letters and other contacts between diplomats, rather than any new face-to-face talks. Browne, on a visit to Afghanistan, said Britain had "the support of almost the whole international community" in calling for the release of its personnel, who were seized by Iran 10 days ago. Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander said Britain was engaged in "exploring the potential for dialogue" with the Iranians. Officials were holding a crisis committee meeting to discuss developments.