Anxious phone calls, tense moments before Iran's Supreme Leader okayed U.S. sailors' release

January 14, 2016 2:44 AM

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Anxious phone calls, tense moments before Iran's Supreme Leader okayed U.S. sailors' release

WASHINGTON Iran's detention of 10 U.S. sailors on Tuesday set off a furious round of meetings in both Washington and Tehran. Anxious officials in both capitals had the same goal: to ensure the incident did not torpedo a historic nuclear accord between two countries with a long history of hostility.

In the end it came down to a series of telephone calls between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who had forged a close bond during months of tense negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme.

Also read: The Iran nuclear deal isn’t so great — for Iran

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