Iranian TV shows captive U.S. Navy commander apologize for incident

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Iranian state TV has broadcast video in which a U.S. Navy captain apologized for entering Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, saying it happened by mistake.

“It was a mistake that was our fault, and we apologize for our mistake,” the captain said. “It was a misunderstanding. We did not mean to go into Iranian territorial waters.” Asked how they were being treated, the service member called Iran’s behavior “fantastic,” thanking Iran for their “hospitality” and “assistance.”

Asked how they were captured during Tuesday’s incident, the unidentified captain said: “The Iranian patrol boat came out when we were having engine issues and had weapons drawn, so we tried to talk to them until more boats came out and took us in.”

The circumstances in which the interview was recorded were not immediately clear but it took place while all 10 U.S. sailors were still being held by Iran. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced earlier on Wednesday that the 10 sailors had been allowed to depart Iran and were back in U.S. hands.

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