US Navy boat patrol

The US has apologised to Iran after 10 American sailors were arrested for entering Iranian waters, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards naval forces has said.

General Ali Fadavi accused those detained of “unprofessional” acts.

But he suggested the group, who are being held by the guards, could be released soon.

The incident comes at a sensitive time, as the US and Iran try to implement the deal on Iran’s nuclear activities.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has contacted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over the incident.

Giving his assessment of the talks, Gen Fadavi said “Mr Zarif had a firm stance, saying that they were in our territorial waters and should not have been, and saying that they [the US] should apologise”.

“This has been done and it will not take long, and the naval force, according to its hierarchy, will act immediately upon the orders it receives,” he added.

US officials have said the sailors – nine men and a woman – are likely to be released on Wednesday.

There has been no confirmation from Washington that Mr Kerry apologised.


Iran said that it released the 10 sailors from two small U.S. Navy boats who were detained Tuesday after crossing into Iranian waters, the state-affiliated Islamic Republic News Agency said.

The sailors were taken to international waters and freed there, IRNA said. There was no immediate confirmation from the U.S. military to confirm the release.