Sailors detained by Iran return home

AP/NDN

The 10 U.S. sailors briefly detained by Iran have returned to their homeport in San Diego.

“Our sailors are being reintegrated with dignity and professionalism," Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, said in a statement this weekend announcing their return. "My top priority is the health, welfare and well-being of our Shipmates as they return to duty."

The sailors are in good health, according to the Navy. They are currently being reunited with their families, undergoing debriefings about their experience and receiving any necessary medical care.

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The Navy is continuing to investigate their detainment by Iran, officials said.

The sailors were detained for 16 hours earlier this month after their two riverine boats drifted into Iranian waters.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said it appears the boats accidentally strayed into Iranian waters due to a “navigation error.”

The Obama administration has hailed the incident as an example of good diplomacy since the sailors were released relatively quickly.

But lawmakers have slammed that characterization, saying the incident shows that Iran has been emboldened by the nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions.

Iran released videos and photos showing the sailors kneeling with their hands behind their heads and apologizing for entering Iranian waters.

This story was updated at 12:33 p.m.