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Iran releases footage of US sailors being detained

This photo shows US Marines whose boats were seized by the IRGC forces in the Persian Gulf after drifting into Iran's territorial waters.

Iran has released a video showing the moment ten US sailors were arrested after drifting into the country's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

The video was released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Wednesday, hours after the US sailors were released by Tehran.

The footage shows weapons seized by Iranian officers, including assault rifles and light machine guns, along with belts of ammunition. 

On Wednesday, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, said two US Navy crafts carrying 10 Marines had on Tuesday reached three miles into the waters surrounding the Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf.

Fadavi noted that the trespassing occurred because of technical problems with the navigation systems of the US vessels.

However, the IRGC released the sailors on Wednesday, saying in a statement that "after technical and operational examinations done in interaction with the country’s relevant political and national security authorities and the establishment of the inadvertent and unintentional nature of the entry by the American Navy crafts and their apology, a decision was made to free them.”

The statement said the Americans had pledged not to repeat the mistake, adding, “...the arrested American Marines were released into international waters under IRGC Navy vessels’ watch.”

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Iranian authorities for their cooperation in the release of US Navy sailors.

Kerry who was addressing a press briefing at the National Defense University in Washington DC. said the peaceful resolution of the issue was a “testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays” in keeping the US safe.

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