(Newswire.net -- January 13, 2016) -- Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has released ten US Navy troops who wandered into Iranian territorial waters on Tuesday. All sailors involved are well and none were mistreated while in captivity.
The Pentagon reported that the US boat was between Kuwait and Bahrain when their navigational equipment went down. Russia Today reports that after inspecting the boats equipment, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has confirmed that the navigational instruments were out of order and have since released the sailors giving them back their fully armed ships.
Not long after the incident occurred, the Iranian National television hosted the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Navy, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, who spoke about the incident and called any talk of the release of the US sailors “speculation”.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard then went on to release the US sailors on Wednesday after US aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman started with a series of maneuvers near Iranian waters. Iranian military officials later called the maneuvers of the US carrier “improper” and stressed that the sailors were released, with their full-armed ships, after authorities’ determined that there was no espionage involved in the incident.
Upon the release of the US sailors on Wednesday morning, Iran’s army chief Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said that capturing the US troops is a clear warning to the “war hawks” in Washington.
"This incident in the Persian Gulf, which will probably not be the last mistake that the American forces make in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the US Congress," the Tasnim news agency quotes him saying.
General Firouzabadi confirmed that the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, had talked with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, who demanded a formal apology for the breach of Iranian sovereignty. It is highly unlikely that the US will ever address a formal apology to the Iranian government, however, John Kerry expresses “gratitude” to Iran after US sailors are released.
Last month, the US condemned Iran for conducting tests on a ballistic missile system in the proximity of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and the USS Bulkeley destroyer in the Persian Gulf.
This incident comes at a crucial moment for the nuclear deal between Tehran and six leading world powers as Iranian nuclear scientists are about to disable the Arak heavy water reactor in order to speed up the lifting of the imposed economic sanctions.