No tense relations here. The U.S. has expressed the warmest thanks to Iran for the swift release of 10 Navy sailors and their two boats.
Following the release of the sailors and the boats, Secretary of State John Kerry says he is “very pleased that our Sailors have been safely returned to U.S. hands.” Moreover, Kerry expressed gratitude to the Iranian government for their cooperation in handling the situation swiftly. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Ash Carter praised Kerry for his “diplomatic engagement” with Iran authorities.
According to the Department of Defense, it appears that none of the sailors appear to have been harmed during their brief stay with the Iranians. During a media briefing, Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department Mark Toner had said that during their detention, sailors were also given blankets, food and a place to sleep. Upon their release, they left Farsi Island at 8:43 a.m. (GMT) aboard the two Riverine Command boats that they had been using prior to being detained. The sailors were then taken ashore by a U.S. Navy aircraft while another group of sailors took over the Riverine Command boats as they made their way towards the boats’ original destination, Bahrain.
Earlier, a senior defense official said that Iranian authorities have assured U.S. officials that they will allow the sailors to continue their travel. The 10 U.S. Navy sailors were originally travelling from Kuwait to Bahrain when it suddenly lost contact and found themselves in Iranian territory. The Navy said it will investigate how the sailors ended up in Iran.