The Iranian government has apparently seized two small US naval vessels crewed by 10 sailors somewhere off the coast of Iran.
Two small U.S. Navy vessels appear to be in Iranian custody, but their crews will be released promptly, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
However, FARS, an Iranian news agency, said that the ten sailors had been arrested and were suspected of “snooping.”
Two U.S. naval craft were en route from Kuwait to Bahrain when they disappeared from the Navy’s scopes. The incident marks the latest run-in between Iranian and U.S. crews. In late December, Iranian gunboats fired unguided missiles almost 1,000 yards away from the aircraft carrier the USS Harry S. Truman.
According to a senior administration official who declined to be identified, Secretary of State John F. Kerry spoke about the situation to a senior Iranian official but would not say if it was his counterpart, foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
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A U.S. official said the small boats may have run out of gas or had mechanical issues and were believed to have been within 12 nautical miles of Iran when they broke down. Though many officials have stressed that is unclear exactly what happened.
The vessels, known as Riverine Command Boats, are small and agile and often carry special operations forces into smaller bodies of water.
The U.S. government has been in communication with Iranian authorities, according to a senior defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence issues.
“We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey,” the official said.
Another U.S. defense official said it was too early to say what exactly took place and how the American crew and vessels were “picked up” by Iran. He said the American craft and their crew were taken during the incident to Farsi Island, an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf where Iran maintains a naval base.
Maybe we should use some of that “soft power” Kerry and Obama are so fond of. Actually, if those two beanbags got any softer, we could make s’mores out of them.
Apparently, the Iranians are being nice to our sailors:
A senior defense official added that so far there was no indication of hostile intent and that the American crew was being well-treated by the Iranian government.
“In some ways this has been very professional,” the official said.
But of course. The Iranians are professional hostage takers. Why wouldn’t they be professional about seizing our men?
I’m glad the president is going to talk to the nation tonight. You don’t think the Iranian action had anything to do with that, do you? I mean, they wouldn’t try to DELIBERATELY EMBARRASS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WOULD THEY?
We are in the very best of hands.