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World

Iran Frees 10 Detained U.S. Sailors, Iran State TV Says

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There was much potential for trouble - grave trouble - when Iran detained 10 U.S. Navy personnel in the Persian Gulf yesterday. But we're now told those American sailors have been released. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: The 10 sailors - nine men and a woman - were detained after apparently drifting into Iran's territorial waters. The incident held the potential for a dangerous escalation in tensions between two longtime adversaries. Republicans in Congress spoke of kidnapping and a hostile enemy act, while hardliners in Iran bragged about teaching a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress, which is pushing new sanctions against Iran. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter singled out Secretary of State John Kerry's diplomacy for praise, saying his engagement with Iranian counterparts helped secure the sailors' police. The Pentagon issued a statement saying there's no indication that the sailors were mistreated. The statement did not clarify how the two American boats came to be seized by the Iranian Navy, saying an investigation will be launched to determine what happened. Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Istanbul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.