Ten sailors were seized by Iran in the Gulf on Tuesday, and Tehran told the United States the crew members would be promptly returned, U.S. officials said. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Ten sailors aboard two U.S. Navy boats were seized by Iran in the Gulf on Tuesday. U.S. officials said Tehran said the crew members would be promptly returned. A senior U.S. defense official said the U.S. had lost contact earlier in the day with two small craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain. U.S. officials told Reuters it was unclear how or if the boats became disabled. Another U.S. official said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the U.S. sailors would be allowed to continue their journey promptly. While both sides appear eager not to let the incident escalate further, it comes at a delicate time for U.S.-Iranian relations. Iran and six world powers forged a landmark nuclear accord last July. News of the incident broke as U.S. President Barack Obama prepared to make his final State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress. He is due to leave office in January 2017.