Protesters angry over the Iraq occupation tried to approach the six Royal Marines and two sailors as they arrived at Tehran airport accompanied by British consular officers, but they were kept away by police.

The eight were detained on 21 June after their boats strayed into the Iranian part of the Shatt al-Arab waterway while delivering a patrol boat to Iraq’s new river police.

‘I’m told that they are in very good spirits and were well cared for,’ UK Foreign Affairs Secretary Jack Straw said in a statement.