London The 15 British marines and sailors held captive in Iran for nearly two weeks have been granted special permission to sell their stories, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.
The move to lift a ban that prevents military personnel from selling stories was made because of the "exceptional circumstances" surrounding the crew's capture in the Persian Gulf on March 23, the ministry said in a statement.
The dramatic saga has dominated the British media, which frequently pay large sums of money for high-profile interviews.
"It is a fact that the media have been making direct contact with the families and offering them significant sums of money," the ministry said. "It was clear that the stories they had to tell were likely to have emerged via family and friends regardless of any decision the Navy took."
One of the captives, Lt. Felix Carman, said money was not his a prime motivation.
"My main aim is to tell the story," Carman told the BBC.
The statement added that permission had been granted to ensure that the Navy and ministry "had sight of what they were going to say."