Iran says all 10 detained US sailors have been released

In this Nov. 15, 2014, photo, a Riverine Command Boat from Costal Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 2 escorts the USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) in the Persian Gulf. Iran was holding 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their two boats, similar to the one in this picture, on Jan. 12, 2016, after the boats had mechanical problems and drifted into Iranian waters. American officials have received assurances from Tehran that they will be returned safely and promptly. (LaTunya Howard/U.S. Navy via AP)

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has welcomed the release of 10 U.S. Navy sailors held overnight by Iran.

In a statement Wednesday, Carter said he wanted to thank U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his “diplomatic engagement” on the issue. Kerry has a close relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif after the recent nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

Carter also said: “Around the world, the U.S. Navy routinely provides assistance to foreign sailors in distress, and we appreciate the timely way in which this situation was resolved.”

The nine men and one woman were held on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday. The U.S. military has said that mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, where they were picked up by Iran.

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