Iran says no release of US Navy crew without investigation
Tehran, Iran, January 13
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
What has been said about releasing the US Navy crew is speculation and Iran is not going to free them without proper investigation, IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif said.
IRGC marine forces seized two US Navy boats January 12 and are detaining them on Iran's Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf.
Sharif assured the US officials that the captives will be treated kindly, but also dismissed any leniency when it comes to national concerns, Fars news agency reported January 13.
Ten US sailors aboard the small riverine vessels were on a training mission when one of the boats may have experienced mechanical failure and drifted into Iranian waters, US officials claimed.
Pointing out that the crew were found in possession of light and semi-heavy arms, Sharif said if they are proven to have been driven to Iranian waters unwillingly, they will be released, but if proven to have come with intentions of espionage, they will be treated "properly".
Earlier reports said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had assured US Secretary of State John Kerry that the crew would be released promptly.