Wednesday, January 13, 2016
WASHINGTON: The Iranian military seized two US Navy boats and are holding them in custody on the Irans Farsi Island in the middle of the Gulf, US officials told NBC News.
Officials said it is unclear whether the 10 American sailors who were aboard one of the small riverine boats had strayed into Iranian territorial waters before they were captured.
Officials said the Americans were on a training mission when their boat experienced mechanical difficulty and drifted into Iranian-claimed waters and was seized by the Iranian coast guard.
Secretary of State John Kerry has been on the phone with Iranian officials in Tehran attempting to gain the release. One senior official told NBC News the Iranians understand it was a mistake and have agreed to release the Americans in international waters within hours.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told The Associated Press that the boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain when the US lost contact with them.