Iran has released 10 U.S. sailors detained after their boats entered Iranian waters, saying the breach was inadvertent and the result of an equipment malfunction, a branch of its military said Wednesday.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, which seized the men and the vessels late Tuesday, said the decision to release after it was determined that “their entrance into [our] waters was unintentional,” and the U.S. apologized.
The sailors and their boats were freed in international waters under the supervision of Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels, the IGRC said in its statement.The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in Manama, Bahrain, confirmed that the men had been released and said there were no indications the men had been harmed.
Two 20-to-25-foot-long Navy boats were siezed in Iranian waters near Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. U.S. officials said they were investigating the possibility that a mechanical issue led them to drift into Iranian territory while traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain.