Iran frees 10 US Marines, US hails diplomacy


Iran’s move to release the 10 US marines on January 13 has come as a pleasant surprise given the history of conflicted relations between the two countries. The United States government has confirmed that 10 Marines who were seized in the Persian Gulf and held overnight on the Farsi Island have been released unharmed.

The marines were captured when one of the vessels experienced some mechanical problems and strayed accidently into Iranian waters without permission. The two Navy boats are usually stationed on Patrol near Bahrain and had missed a scheduled refuelling connection with a larger ship. The marines on the boats have apologised to the Iranian forces for the violation of their sovereign borders.

Iran’s Fars news Agency quoted a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, saying that the sailors were released after “investigations showed that they had gone astray during their voyage in the Persian Gulf.” In its statement, the Guard added that the “illegal entry into Iranian water was not the result of a purposeful act.” “The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes,” it added. “The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Tehran’s prompt action in freeing the Marines. “That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong.”

While the Marines were not harmed, they would still undergo medical evaluation and debriefing in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. The vessels are to be taken by another American crew to Bahrain, their original destination and home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

The release has prevented the diplomatic relations between the two countries from going sour, especially days before the Iran-US nuclear deal is expected to come into force. The deal would lift the economic sanctions imposed on Iran and boost the country’s economy. According to the deal, in exchange Iran would scale back its nuclear programme.

Author Profile

India Writes Network
India Writes Network
India Writes Network ( is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. Centre for Global India Insights is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs.