Officials in Iran has announced the release of two U.S. Navy patrol boats and the crew members after initially accusing the sailors of trespassing in Iranian waters. The 10 crew members were released unharmed and found themselves in their predicament because of a mechanical issue with one of the boats.
The New York Times reports:.
The Pentagon and the State Department said that one of the boats had experienced mechanical problems en route to Bahrain from Kuwait on a routine mission on Tuesday, and the Iranians appeared to have accepted that explanation.
The release was announced shortly before 10 a.m. on an Iranian state-run news channel, IRINN. “The detained U.S. Marines, after it was realized that their entry into Iran’s territorial waters was unintentional, and after the Marines apologized, were released into international waters in the Persian Gulf,” the channel reported, attributing the statement to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The United States Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain confirmed the release, saying in a statement that there were “no indications that the sailors were harmed during their brief detention” and that the Navy would “investigate the circumstances that led to the sailors’ presence in Iran.”
Diplomacy between Iran and the United States has not been a given as American authorities have openly stated longstanding concerns over the nation’s nuclear program and its human rights record.
However, the release of the sailors points to a possible thawing of those tensions between the nations.
Photo: CBS News/Screen Cap