April 21, 2018

Iran detains two US Navy boats and their crew members

IRAN has taken two US Navy boats which went missing in the Persian Gulf and their crew members into custody.

American military top brass in the Pentagon said it briefly lost contact with two small boats in the Gulf earlier today, but had “received assurances” from Tehran both the vessels and their crew would be returned.

Iranian news agency Fars said there were 10 people aboard the two boats, including nine men and a woman.

It said: ”These two boats were seized by Revolutionary Guard naval forces near Farsi Island 2 km inside Iranian territorial waters.”

US Military spokesman Peter Cook said the boats were travelling between Kuwait and Bahrain when the US lost contact with them.

He added: “We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly.”

The White House said it was working to resolve the situation.

It is believed the boats had crossed into Iranian waters.

A senior White House source said Iranian foreign secretary Mohammad Javad Zarif had conformed with US Scretary of State John Kerry that the sailors would be allowed to continue their journey soon.

The seizure of the boats comes just hours before American president Barack Obama will make his final State of the Union address.

Last month, Iran tested at rocket near American vessels going through the Strait of Hormuz.

The news comes after the US Senate said it would look into sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its missile testing.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said earlier today: “We’re certainly going to be looking at Iran … an obvious rogue regime with which we have this outrageous deal that they don’t intend to comply with.”

Last year, Tehran agreed to a deal which allowed it to develop nuclear power in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear weapons capabilities.

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