Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 13
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged the US to apologize for "trespassing" its waters, an Iranian military official said.
"[US Secretary of State John] Kerry called Zarif requesting Iran to release the detained sailors. Zarif took a strong stance, saying that the sailors were in Iran's waters. Therefore the US must apologize," Fars news agency quoted the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi as saying Jan 13.
According to Fars, Kerry and Zarif held a phone conversation following the seizure of two American boats as well as 10 sailors onboard by the IRGC.
Fadavi further added that the IRGC's naval forces will decide on the faith of the sailors as soon as the IRGC's top hierarchy gives an order.
Iranian armed forces, including IRGC, report directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Although several sources have reported that the crew and vessels would be returned safely and promptly, IRGC spokesperson Brig Gen Ramezan Sharif said reports about releasing the sailors are just speculations and the sailors will be interrogated.
The IRGC Navy's Public Relations Department, in a statement released on Jan. 13, declared that the US navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters near Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf illegally, the official news portal of the IRGC reported.
The arrested US sailors including one woman are "safe" and are being held in an "appropriate" place, the IRGC announced.
Earlier, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the US military lost contact with two small US boats en route from Kuwait to Bahrain, confirming that the 10 sailors on the boats were in Iranian custody.