The ten US sailors who were captured by Revolutionary Guards after entering Iranian waters have been released.
The US military confirmed the sailors’ release after the Guards issued a statement claiming they were freed into international waters after apologising.
The statement read :“We decided to release them after conducting a technical investigation and consultations with our national security officials, and also after establishing that their trespassing into the waters of the Islamic Republic was unintentional and also receiving apology from them”
Press TV reports:
The statement said the Americans had pledged not to repeat the mistake, adding, “…the arrested American Marines were released into international waters under IRGC Navy vessels’ watch.”
تصاویر جدید از بازداشت ملوانان آمریکایی که وارد حریم آبی ایران در خلیج فارس شدند و امروز آزاد شدند. pic.twitter.com/mRn6wBUKuA
— روزنامه شرق (@SharghDaily) January 13, 2016
Meanwhile, an unidentified US official confirmed to the CNN that the 10 Marines had been released and boarded US missile cruiser, USS Anzio.
At the time of the impounding, the IRGC statement said, the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, which was present in nearby international waters, resorted to aerial and seaborne provocations, adding that the IRGC Navy subsequently acted perceptively and authoritatively, thus restoring control and calm to the area.
“The ardent fighters of the IRGC Navy will, as before, defend the Islamic Republic of Iran’s maritime sovereignty and borders across the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz,” the statement read.
Earlier in the day, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of the IRGC Navy, had noted that the trespassing occurred because of technical problems with the navigation systems of the US vessels. He added that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had demanded an apology from the United States for the trespassing.