Date
27 July 2017
The two US Navy boats “illegally entered Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf”, according to Iranian news agency FARS. Photo: Reuters/US Navy
The two US Navy boats “illegally entered Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf”, according to Iranian news agency FARS. Photo: Reuters/US Navy

Iran detains 10 sailors aboard two US Navy boats

Iran detained 10 sailors aboard two US Navy boats in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, US officials said.

Washington received assurances that the two small boats and their crew were to be released “promptly”, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a senior administration official.

The two boats were on a trip to Bahrain from Kuwait, officials said.

Defense officials said they were trying to determine whether one or both of the boats had developed mechanical trouble.

They also said the boats may have veered into Iranian territorial waters near Iran’s Farsi Island.

The US Navy had lost contact with the boats, US officials said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, on Tuesday to try to arrange the release of the two US boats, another senior administration official, adding the US expected the American sailors to be released soon.

The boats are small “riverine” craft about 20 to 25 feet long.

Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps detained the American sailors, including one woman, after the boats “illegally entered Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf”.

The US boats were equipped with three 50-caliber machine guns and were two kilometers inside Iranian waters, FARS reported.

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