The Latest: Iran state TV broadcasts US sailors 'apology'

By The Associated Press | January 13, 2016 | 4:15 PM EST

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)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The latest developments following the release of 10 U.S. Navy sailors detained by Iran after entering its territorial waters (All times local).

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12:30 a.m.

Iranian state TV has rerun a video clip of one of the held U.S. sailors apologizing for the intrusion into Iranian territorial waters.

In the footage, filmed before the sailors were released on Wednesday, the sailor says: "It was a mistake. That was our fault and we apologize for our mistake."

The sailor is not identified by name in the clip but the TV interviewer says he is the "commander" of the group seized by the Iranians. He is then asked if the sailors' GPS had alerted them about the intrusion, to which he replies, "I believe so."

The U.S. Central Command later said the "video appears to be authentic but we cannot speak to the conditions of the situation or what the crew was experiencing at the time."

It added that the crew is "currently undergoing the reintegration process and we will continue to investigate this incident. What matters most right now, however, is that our sailors are back safely."

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10:10 p.m.

The top House Democrat is applauding Iran's release of 10 U.S. Navy sailors who'd been held after their two small boats allegedly strayed into Iranian territorial waters.

Asked by reporters if she was troubled by the sailors' treatment by Iran, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she hadn't seen videos of the incident. The California Democrat said the matter "was resolved in a matter of hours, and I think that that's record time for all of the, shall we say, apprehension of people who may or may not have been in their waters."

Pelosi says she believes the negotiations that produced the recent deal limiting Tehran's nuclear program helped smooth the way to the "speedy resolution" of the sailors' apprehension.

Pelosi said the Obama administration has never appeased Iran and said the names of other Americans being held by Tehran are brought up at every meeting with Iranian officials.

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9:40 p.m.

Two Republican presidential hopefuls say they're outraged over Iran's detention of U.S. Navy soldiers.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the sailors' temporary detention by Iran is "outrageous" and shows "how little they respect (Obama) and how weak this president truly is."

Speaking at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Christie said on Wednesday that "this is why the American people are so nervous, why they are scared and anxiety-ridden over our place in the world and what it means for the purpose our own safety and the safety of our fellow citizens."

Also Wednesday, campaigning in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said he was angry and outraged at the images broadcast of 10 U.S. sailors captured in the Persian Gulf by Iranian Revolution Guard forces.

Rubio says: "You know why these things happen? Because they know they can get away with it while President Barack Obama is in office."

He says that if elected, he plans to reverse the "ridiculous" nuclear deal with Iran.

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7 p.m.

A senior U.S. defense official says the 10 American sailors briefly held by Iran are heading to a U.S. military facility in Qatar and likely have already arrived there.

The official says the sailors also will be debriefed by naval officials and will get medical checkups, though there's no sign any were harmed.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity as the information had yet to be made public.

The nine men and one woman were held in an Iranian base 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.

—Lolita C. Baldor in Washington.

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6:45 p.m.

Iranian state television has shown dramatic images of the moment when Revolution Guard forces captured 10 U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf.

The video and stills were published on its website Wednesday night, hours after the nine American men and one woman were released by Iran.

The images show the U.S. sailors with their hands on their heads, while others show Iranians inspecting the machine guns onboard and going through papers.

The American sailors were held in an Iranian base 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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5:35 p.m.

The White House says new lines of communication with Iran established during nuclear negotiations were key to getting 10 U.S. Navy sailors released quickly.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says he's hesitant to draw big lessons from the incident about the state of U.S.-Iran relations.

But he says open lines established recently are "extraordinarily important" in resolving situations such as the one in the crowded Persian Gulf. He says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif played a key role in this case.

Kerry and Zarif grew acquainted through the recent nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers. But President Barack Obama and Kerry have said the nuclear deal was separate from other issues between the U.S. and Iran.

McDonough told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Wednesday the White House is very pleased to have the sailors "back with us." He says that's "where they should have always been."

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4:30 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has thanked Iran for ending what could have been a crisis involving the Islamic Republic holding 10 U.S. sailors, who have now been freed.

Kerry said in a statement on Wednesday: "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."

Kerry has a close relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif after the recent nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers.

The nine American men and one woman were held in an Iranian base 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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4:15 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says that America did not apologize to Iran over U.S. sailors allegedly entering Iranian territorial waters.

Biden made the comments Wednesday in an interview with "CBS This Morning."

The vice president said: "There's nothing to apologize for. When you have a problem with the boat you apologize the boat had a problem? No, and there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice."

Biden said that the Iranians realized the U.S. sailors "were there in distress and said they would release them and released them like ordinary nations would do."

The nine American men and one woman were held in an Iranian base 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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3:10 p.m.

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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2:30 p.m.

The U.S. military says that 10 sailors briefly held by Iran are back in American care and "there are no indications that the sailors were harmed."

The U.S. Navy issued a statement Wednesday after Iranian state media announced the sailors had been freed.

It said the sailors departed the Iranian base on Farsi Island at 0843 GMT on the same boats that brought them there. It said the Navy would conduct an investigation into the incident.

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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2 p.m.

Iranian state television is reporting that all 10 U.S. sailors detained by Iran after entering its territorial waters have been released.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the sailors were released Wednesday after it was determined that their entry was not intentional.

The nine men and one woman were being held at an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday.

The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet had no immediate comment or confirmation of the release.