Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday (Jan. 13) it had released 10 members of the U.S. Navy it held just a day earlier for entering its waters.
The sailors, nine men and a woman, are said to be in good health. The incident was swiftly resolved, a sign that relations have warmed up between Iran and the United States since a landmark nuclear deal last year.
Iran held the sailors on Tuesday after one of their vessels broke down during a training mission in a strategic area of the Persian Gulf, near Farsi Island. The U.S. Navy patrols were first accused of “snooping” in Iranian waters. But Tehran later said they simply got lost.
“Our final finding was that it has not been a hostile crossover meant for espionage or the like,” said IRGC Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi. They reached the area due to a malfunction of their navigation systems, acknowledging that they did not know they were close to the Iranian territory of Farsi island.”
The incident rattled nerves ahead of the planned implementation of the nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers, expected this Saturday or Sunday.