Zarif, Kerry Phone Call Expedited US Sailors’ Release

Zarif, Kerry Phone Call Expedited US Sailors’ Release

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman said the communication between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry accelerated the release of 10 US sailors who had been captured after intrusion into Iran’s territorial waters.

As the implementation day of the nuclear deal (JCPOA) is looming, phone calls between the Iranian foreign minister and his US counterpart about the nuclear issue are underway, Hossein Jaberi Ansari said in a statement.

The issue of US sailors detained by the Iranian naval forces was pursued in these phone calls, and the grounds were set for its swift resolution, he added.

Cooperation for the facilitation of safe navigation based on the principles of international law and dealing with extraordinary cases humanitarianly has been and will be the main criteria for the Iranian Armed Forces in their missions in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, he went on to say.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) released the US Navy sailors captured inside Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday.

The IRGC Public Relations in a statement on Wednesday said the sailors were freed following an apology from the US and after technical and operational investigations indicated that the intrusion into Iranian territorial waters was "unintentional".

It also underlined that the US has pledged to prevent such mistakes in the future.

The seizure had taken place at 4:30 P.M. 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.

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