Iran Holding 10 US Sailors
But officials say they will be returned 'promptly'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2016 3:47 PM CST
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif speaks to the media during a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.   (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

(Newser) – The crew of two small Navy craft are being held by Iran, but American officials have received assurances from Tehran that the crew and vessels will be returned safely and promptly. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told the AP that the boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain when the US lost contact with them. "We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly," Cook said. CNN and other outlets report that 10 sailors are being held.

US officials said that the incident happened near Farsi Island, situated in the middle of the Persian Gulf. They say it stemmed from some type of mechanical trouble with one of the boats, causing them to run aground. The troops were picked up by Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has forged a personal relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif through three years of nuclear negotiations, called Zarif immediately on learning of the incident, according to a senior US official. Kerry "personally engaged with Zarif on this issue to try to get to this outcome," the official said.