(NBC News)Iranian military forces seized two U.S. Navy boats and are holding them in custody on the Irans Farsi Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf, U.S. officials told NBC News.
Officials said it’s unclear whether the 10 American sailors who were aboard one of the small riverine boat had strayed into Iranian territorial waters before they were captured. But
The officials said the Americans were on a training mission when their boat experienced mechanical difficulty and drifted into Iranian-claimed waters and were seized by Iranian Coast guard.
Secretary of State John Kerry has been on the phone with Iranian officials in Tehran attempting to gain the release.
One senior official told NBC News the Iranians understand it was a mistake and have agreed to release the Americans in international waters within hours.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told The Associated Press that the boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain when the US lost contact with them.
Cook says, “We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said on MSNBC that diplomacy between U.S. and Iranian officials “is working.”
“Hopefully this will be resolved, and it won’t be an issue that we’re talking about in a couple of hours,” she said.