Ten US Navy Sailors Freed After Capture by Iran in Persian Gulf Tuesday

IRANIAN VIDEO in Farsi: Iranian state-run media says all ten detained US Navy Sailors have been released. The report included pictures said to be of the sailors. The Pentagon confirmed the report.

Ten U.S. Navy sailors, who were taken into custody Tuesday by Iran after their two small boats drifted into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf, were released Wednesday. Multiple Iranian news outlets quoted a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as saying all 10 U.S. personnel had been released from a holding facility on Farsi Island.

American officials had said Tuesday that officials in Tehran assured them the crew of nine men and one woman, and vessels would be returned safely and promptly.

The US boats were near Farsi Island for refueling. It’s not clear whether they were refueled, raising the possibility they ran out gas.

No distress call was made by the US Navy sailors. The U.S. lost contact with the two boats while they were en route from Kuwait to Bahrain.

Iran accused the US Navy sailors of trespassing, and was demanding an apology before releasing them earlier Wednesday. “Our technical investigations showed the two U.S. Navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters inadvertently,” Iranian state television quoted the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC) statement as saying. “They were released in international waters after they apologized.”

The capture and detention of the sailors came days before the deal between Iran and world powers to freeze Tehran’s nuclear program and return billions of dollars to Iran is expected to go into effect.

While the White House thanked Iran for the prompt resolution of the captured, critics declared the propaganda video from Iran was designed to show the United States is weak, and that Iran is the up and coming power in the Mideast.