January 13, 2016 / 6:31 PM / 3 years ago

Kerry spoke with Iran's Zarif at least five times about detained sailors: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with his Iranian counterpart at least five times over a period of 10 hours on Tuesday as they worked to arrange the quick release of U.S. Navy personnel from Iranian custody, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, at the United Nations in New York, September 26, 2015. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Kerry told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif it would be good for both sides if they could agree on the quick and safe release of the 10 Navy sailors and their two boats that drifted into Iranian waters, the official said on condition of anonymity.

“If we are able to do this in the right way, we can make this into what will be a good story for both of us,” the official said Kerry told Zarif.

Reporting by David Alexander and Doina Chia

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