John Kerry Thanks Iranians After Sailors Freed

John Kerry

John Kerry

John Kerry

John Kerry

TEHRAN, Iran -- The latest developments following the release of 10 U.S. Navy sailors detained by Iran after entering its territorial waters (All times local).

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4:30 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has thanked Iran for ending what could have been a crisis involving the Islamic Republic holding 10 U.S. sailors, who have now been freed.

Kerry said in a statement on Wednesday: "That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong."

Kerry has a close relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif after the recent nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

The nine American men and one woman were held in an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday. The U.S. military has said that mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, where they were picked up by Iran.

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4:15 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says that America did not apologize to Iran over U.S. sailors allegedly entering Iranian territorial waters.

Biden made the comments Wednesday in an interview with "CBS This Morning."

The vice president said: "There's nothing to apologize for. When you have a problem with the boat you apologize the boat had a problem? No, and there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice."

Biden said that the Iranians realized the U.S. sailors "were there in distress and said they would release them and released them like ordinary nations would do."

The nine American men and one woman were held in an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday. The U.S. military has said that mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, where they were picked up by Iran.

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3:10 p.m.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has welcomed the release of 10 U.S. Navy sailors held overnight by Iran.

In a statement Wednesday, Carter said he wanted to thank U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his "diplomatic engagement" on the issue. Kerry has a close relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif after the recent nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

Carter also said: "Around the world, the U.S. Navy routinely provides assistance to foreign sailors in distress, and we appreciate the timely way in which this situation was resolved."

The nine men and one woman were held on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday. The U.S. military has said that mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, where they were picked up by Iran.

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2:30 p.m.

The U.S. military says that 10 sailors briefly held by Iran are back in American care and "there are no indications that the sailors were harmed."

The U.S. Navy issued a statement Wednesday after Iranian state media announced the sailors had been freed.

It said the sailors departed the Iranian base on Farsi Island at 0843 GMT on the same boats that brought them there. It said the Navy would conduct an investigation into the incident.

The nine men and one woman were held on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday. The U.S. military has said that mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, where they were picked up by Iran.

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2 p.m.

Iranian state television is reporting that all 10 U.S. sailors detained by Iran after entering its territorial waters have been released.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the sailors were released Wednesday after it was determined that their entry was not intentional.

The nine men and one woman were being held at an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday.

The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet had no immediate comment or confirmation of the release.

Jan 13, 8:09 AM EST AP

 
 

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