Pentagon: Iran Assures Prompt Return of Sailors
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Pentagon spokesman said Tehran has assured US that the crew and vessels seized by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy in the Persian Gulf would be returned “promptly”, a report said.
"We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly," Peter Cook told AP early on Wednesday.
He added that the riverine boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain when the US lost contact with them.
US officials said that the incident happened near Farsi Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf. They said some type of mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to run aground and they were picked up by Iran.
The IRGC Navy seized two US Navy combat vessels that had entered into Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, capturing 10 armed troops.
According to the IRGC Navy Public relations, the seizure took place at 16:30 local time, Tuesday, when the two American combat vessels, with 10 armed sailors on board, entered Iran’s territorial waters near the island of Farsi.
The IRGC said the captured US troops, including 9 men and a woman, were treated properly with the Islamic manner, are fully safe and have been transferred to an appropriate location.
The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier had been drifting out southeast of the Iranian island of Farsi in the international waters when the Iranian forces seized the two boats, while the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle had been also patrolling in the international waters northeast of the island at the time of the seizure, the IRGC added.
Later, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about the issue.
The top Iranian diplomat has reportedly assured Kerry that the US vessels will be allowed to go their way soon.