After being held for more than 12 hours, Iranian military forces have released 10 U.S. Navy sailors, nine men and one woman. The sailors were taken captive in the Persian Gulf. Iran claimed their boats had drifted into Iranian controlled waters, apparently after mechanical issues, and is demanding an apology.
"After determining that their entry into Iran's territorial waters was not intentional and their apology, the detained American sailors were released in international waters of the Persian Gulf," a statement posted online by the Guard said Wednesday.You can read more about the details of the incident here.
Gen. Ali Fadavi, the Navy chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, was quoted earlier Wednesday by Iranian state TV as saying that an investigation had shown that the Americans entered Iranian territorial waters because of "mechanical problems in their navigation system."
Fadavi said the American boats had shown "unprofessional acts" for 40 minutes before being picked up by Iranian forces after entering the country's territorial waters. He said Tehran did not consider the U.S. Navy boats violating Iranian territorial waters as "innocent passage."
Photos released by the Revolutionary Guard show sailors unharmed, but the female sailor was forced to cover her head.During his final State of the Union address last night, President Obama failed to mention the situation.
More to come.