Two Navy Boats in Iranian Custody, Will Be Released Soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
In this file photo, a U.S. Navy boat seen from the deck of a U.S. military ship docked in Manama, Bahrain, patrols the harbor area of the tiny Persian Gulf island nation. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
In this file photo, a U.S. Navy boat seen from the deck of a U.S. military ship docked in Manama, Bahrain, patrols the harbor area of the tiny Persian Gulf island nation. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Two U.S. Navy boats were taken into Iranian custody on Tuesday, but Iran has told the United States that the crews will be returned “promptly,” U.S. officials said.

“Earlier today, we lost contact with two small U.S. naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain. We subsequently have been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel. We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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, another U.S. official said.

The two craft were manned by a total of 10 U.S. Navy sailors, defense officials said.

The U.S. craft patrolling the Gulf were somehow disabled and drifted into Iranian territorial waters at which point they were detailed by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and taken to Farsi Island in the middle of the Gulf, Fox News reported.