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US Navy Accuses Iran of Violating Int'l Law by Seizing of US Vessels

Sputnik News

17:35 30.06.2016(updated 18:01 30.06.2016)

US Admiral John Richardson said in a briefing on Thursday that Iran violated international law by seizing US navy vessels near Farsi Island and violated sovereign immunity by videotaping the boats' crewmembers.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – In May, the US Navy dismissed the commander of ten American sailors who were captured and detained for 15 hours by Iran after unlawfully sailing into Iranian territorial waters in January.

The incident created a diplomatic row between the two countries, nearly extinguishing the US-Iran nuclear deal at the final moment.

"We are releasing the results of the investigation into the seizure of two… [US] command boats on 12 January of this year by Iranian forces in the vicinity of Farsi Island and the subsequent detention of ten sailors," Richardson stated. "The investigation concluded that Iran violated international law by impeding the boats innocent passage transit and they violated sovereign immunity by boarding, searching and seizing the boats and by photographing and videotaping the crew."

US Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Chris Aquilino added that as a result of the incident the Navy will enhance code of conduct training for sailors.

On June 24, the US Navy announced that it relieved the officer in charge at the time of the incident, Captain Kyle Moses, of his duties due to "loss of confidence."

The intervention of US Secretary of State John Kerry led to the release of ten US sailors who were held captive for one day after two US patrol vessels accidentally strayed into Iranian waters. Kerry's intervention came at a crucial point in the implementation of a nuclear deal with Iran.


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