Iran Seizes 2 US Navy Boats, Crewmen For "Illegally Entering Iranian Waters"

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: Iran plans to return the crewmen to a ship from the USS Truman carrier strike group on Wednesday.

So we suppose we can just call the sailors "State of the Union hostages". The rationale for waiting until tomorrow (i.e. until after Obama's speech): it's safer to carry out the exchange in daylight, according to an unnamed US official.

In short, the Ayatollah has just pulled off one epic publicity stunt. 

*  *  *

Tensions were already running high between Tehran and Washington in the wake of Iran's move to test-fire a next generation surface-to-surface ballistic missile with the range to hit Israel. 


And then the IRGC conducted a live-fire rocket test within 1,500 yards of a US aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz. 

Now, in a further escalation, Iran has reportedly seized two US Navy ships. 


But nobody panic, because Iran has promised to return the crew "promptly" and as CNN adds, according to Iran the sailors are safe:

That appears to contradict a statement from Fars which says the US has "repeated" calls for the crew's release.

AP writes that the Pentagon says it briefly lost contact with two small Navy craft in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday but has received assurances from Iran that the crew and vessels will be returned safely and promptly.

"Riverine command boats or RCBs, are actually Swedish CB-90s and are a type of fast attack craft," WaPo notes, adding that "in a number of pictures released by the U.S. Navy, the boats are outfitted with a number of light, medium and heavy weapons including .50 caliber heavy machine guns and GAU-19 miniguns."

"RCB’s can carry contingents of infantry and special operation forces and are often crewed by sailors in Riverine squadrons, known by some as River Rats," WaPo continues. "The riverine force came of age in the Vietnam War in what was then known as the Brown Water Navy. In the 1960s and early 1970s boats such as Patrol Boat, River (from ‘Apocalypse Now’ fame) and Swift Boats were the River Rats vessels of choice."

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook tells The Associated Press that the boats were moving between Kuwait and Bahrain when the US lost contact with them.

Cook says, "We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly."

The crews, which total 10 Navy sailors, are being held at Farsi Island, a highly restricted island between Bahrain and Kuwait, where Iran has a naval base. US officials are saying it is unclear how the crew members ended up in Iranian waters, though Secretary of State John Kerry has kept phone contact with Iranian officials in Tehran, urging for a release. A senior official told NBC News the Iranians understand a mistake was made and have agreed to a release to come in hours.

According to AP, an anonymous senior official says Kerry "personally engaged with” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to work out a solution almost immediately upon hearing of the development around 12:30 pm EST.

Josh Earnest, the White House spokesperson, said the sailors will be released "promptly" and " allowed to continue their journey."

The international incident comes on the day President Obama will give his final State of the Union speech of his tenure. Obama's political opponents are capitalizing on the timing, especially since the International Spectator, citing Iran Revolutionary Guard, reports that "seized US sailors will not be released tonight or before State of the Union address."

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) told CNN, "senior members of Barack Obama's administration are apologizing for Iran seizing two US Navy vessels and holding 10 sailors hostage. The White House tonight is a hot bed of cold feet."

Presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson and Jeb Bush have taken to Twitter to criticize Obama's reaction. Bush called for "no more bargaining" and an immediate return home for the sailors, whereas Carson took a shot at Obama's "preparing to talk about his so called 'accomplishments'" in reference to tonight's national address.

This marks the second time in as many weeks that the President's "soft" policy on Iran has come under fire. Following the abovementioned rocket incident GOP lawmakers called for fresh sanctions on Tehran in connection with two ballistic missile launches in October and November. The White House was apparently prepared to announce a new set of measures aimed at around a dozen individuals and companies but at the last minute, the administration backed out. Obama's cold feet came after President Rouhani ordered the defense ministry to accelerate the country's ballistic missile program in the event new sanctions were put in place.

Meanwhile, according to Iran's version of today's events, Fars News agency says US sailors picked up by Revolutionary Guard Corps, from hardline camp who are opposed to the nuclear deal. Fars adds that the sailors were detained for illegally and "intentionally" entering Iranian waters even though they knew the area well. Tehran also contends the US ships were having "technical difficulties." 

And here is the full Fars statement, google translated:

According to defense Fars News Agency, Iranian Revolutionary Guards 10 US military with two boats illegally entered Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf had been detained.


According to the information received by the Fars news agency every American boat is equipped with 3 machine guns caliber 50 (one in front and two on the sides of the float).


The two vessels illegally entered and patrolled about 2 km deep inside Iranian waters, and the information recorded on their GPS device and is now in the hands of Iranian Revolutionary Guards.


The military said among the arrested were 9 men and one woman. They carried heavy weapons in their vessels.


US officials repeated calls for the release of prisoners will continue with Tehran.

So, they are prisoners, and unlike the White House tried to spin it, guests of honor?

Ironically, earlier we asked:

We now have the answer: 

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Gamma735's picture

WWIII undreway.

nope-1004's picture

Well if they didn't park their country right next to our bases.... I mean, sheesh!


wee-weed up's picture

Yeah, like they returned the embassy hostages "promptly."

Osmium's picture

Well, it was ONLY 444 days.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Uh, oh,... what is possible go wrong? But fortunate is that Boy King is impotent, so no WWIII, Iran is just add US Navy Boat to collection of US Armament including drone.

ZerOhead's picture

"The Pentagon says it briefly lost contact with two small Navy craft in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday but has received assurances from Iran that the crew and vessels will be returned safely and promptly."

No big deal... probably just a couple of aircraft carriers.

nuubee's picture

Wow, our military automation level must be skynet-level if we only need 10 people to man two aircraft carriers.

knukles's picture

Didju all know that "Johnnie Catsup" Kerry and the Iranian Foreign Minister are related by marriage of their children?

Soul Glow's picture

Obama is out golfing and still doesn't know two Navy ships are held captive.

NoDebt's picture

Obama will be apologizing to the Iranians for this at the SOTU tonight. 

The Juggernaut's picture

Boat "lost power" and drifted into Iranian waters.  Kind of sounds like the sad state of US foreign policy.

pods's picture

Probably one of our new super awesome fast boats that did not procure their bearings from DCRB.


DaddyO's picture

Nice reference to DoChen, I think he's posting under another moniker...

38 something if my intact brain cells are still firing.


pods's picture

Yeah he's still here, but it took me years to get DCRB right so I am staying with that. 


Latina Lover's picture

Long Gold and Oil, short reasonableness, diplomacy and common sense.

whotookmyalias's picture

Can't wait to hear the apologies.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

Those boats may be Trojan Horses. When the Iranians aren't looking, the Kardashians are going to sneak out and infect the Iranian population. It's the oldest trick in the book.

CheapBastard's picture

"If you want to keep our drifting Navy boats, you can keep our drifting Navy boats."


~ Soweto


He's too busy putting on his makeup for tonight's circus.

JRobby's picture

But, but, but what about the state of the union address???? (Laugh Track Deafening!!!)

Act of WAR

Pinto Currency's picture



Will Iranian conflict be the excuse explaining exploding gold and lock-up of the LBMA and COMEX gold markets?

A82EBA's picture

We'll take any excuse really

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) A82EBA Jan 12, 2016 8:24 PM

3 months for the US is "being processed".  2/10ths of a second for Iran is abduction and imprisonment and google news top story and the pundits speculating.  Fuck you, neocons.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Stainless Steel Rat Jan 12, 2016 8:35 PM

BTW, where is the "Royal Bank of Scotland Cries 'Economic Collapse'" story?  I thought for sure it would be pinned on ZH.

Oh, I found it... tucked into 5 other stories in this morning's so-called 'Frontrunning' with 4000 paltry reads.  Whoda thunk this site's bread was buttered on THIS side.

(It has been another 4 seconds on the Iran thing, shouldn't we start organizing candlelight vigils???)

NidStyles's picture

We don't we ask our great friends Israel to recover them for us? Not that I would expect them to do anything.... 

Tarshatha's picture

Israeli controled US foreign policy in the ME has caused this, so how will the half white in charge handle the situation he has no control over?

Perhaps Bibi could guide him, and we know what peace loving people Jews are.

Quasi's picture

Interesting that Iran at least cares about it's borders. So much so that they were willing to go after a boat full of presumably armed people to secure it. Meanwhile, back in the "Most Powerful Nation on Earth"®

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Quasi Jan 12, 2016 11:43 PM

A third world nation could waltz right in with LENR thermonukes.  There is no excuse.  The .gov sure chooses its battles...
 Gov't is More Afraid of Civil Disobedience Than Armed Militias

cheeseheader's picture



That guy?  I'm sure I do not have the correct handle.

Bindar Dundat's picture

I know a new name!    "Seal team inserter""

McMolotov's picture

Fine metal debris in the lube oil filter again.

Esso's picture

Ah, "Days Of Thunder" I loved that movie.

two hoots's picture

Maybe the good boat could have towed the other boat away before it/they...........? 

Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

They should have kept the Mark V's, but no. Sell them and if you buy them you have to demolish them.

"What? If I buy it I'm going to use it."
"No you're not, they have to be destroyed and the DOD needs verification".

Fucking retards!

two hoots's picture

No doubt Iran will have an interest in the communications equip, electronics and armament.  Will want to know the crafts/crew abilities and weaknesses, personal items such as cell phone data.  Will bring experts from the mainland to check, it won't be quick.  Maybe the crew is released first or select ones.

Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

It's true. Colonel Sam Trautman is on the scene negotiating with the Iranians. He warned them NOT to draw first blood. John will not stand for it!

two hoots's picture

He will warn them we will bomb Agrabah if they are not released immediately.

Max Steel's picture

asshole your sailors entered iranian waters.

 "U.S. officials said that the incident happened near Farsi Island in the middle of the Gulf. They said some type of mechanical trouble with one of the boats caused them to drift into Iranian territorial waters near the island, and they were picked up by Iran."


So the Navy is sticking with the "mechanical trouble" story.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Looks like the US boys are in a Stux-net.

Row Well Number 41's picture

I'm sure he will hear about it on CNN tonight.

1033eruth's picture

They aren't ships, but more than likely two INFLATABLES with five people in each for a total of 10 people.

I hate Obola as much or more than anybody but he doesn't need to be everywhere for everybodys funeral and be on top of every single insignificant thing imaginable.  The above is absurdly insignificant.  Besides scumbag Kerry is on top of it.  


ZerOhead's picture

I did not know that. Did you know that John Kerry just found out in 2004 that his grandparents were jewish?

Benjamin123's picture

Most goyim with roots in central or eastern europe have some jewish ancestors. Given how all jews themselves descend from goyim who converted to judaism, all it means is that some goyim descend from goyim.

MSimon's picture



We are ALL Jews now?


What a comforting thought.

ZerOhead's picture

"We are ALL Jews now?"

Since Christianity started out as a Jewish sect and the Pope still wears a yamaka... I'd say that's about right.

Sanity Bear's picture

wouldn't it be ironic if the blame-the-Jews crowd here all found out they have Jewish blood too

Dancing Disraeli's picture

One can be a Jew and still be aware enough to see what their fellow tribesmen are up to.