Iran's Zarif told Kerry U.S. sailors would be released promptly

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend the first day of the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015. REUTERS/Aamir Qureshi/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that U.S. sailors who ended up in Iranian custody would be allowed to continue their journey promptly, a senior Obama administration official said on condition of anonymity.

Kerry and Zarif were two of the main negotiators in the July 14 agreement under which Tehran agreed to restrain its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions. Earlier, a U.S. defense official said the U.S. military lost contact with two small U.S. boats en route from Kuwait to Bahrain. U.S. officials said 10 sailors on the boats were in Iranian custody.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Eric Beech