After hours of interrogation, Iran says 10 captured U.S. sailors “released in international waters after they apologized”

ByPamela Geller on January 13, 2016
24 Comments
Sailors

A stinging humiliation for the Obama administration and its feckless policy of appeasement toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. The American people ought to be demanding answers now, calling upon the Obama administration to give a full and honest account of why this happened — and above all, what they’re doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Thank G-d, our soldiers are safe.

Navy sailor with headscarf

“Pictured: Ten U.S. sailors captured by Iran as Revolutionary Guard RELEASES them after ‘snooping’ row – including one female who was forced to wear a headscarf,” by Wills Robinson and Jennifer Newton, Daily Mail, January 13, 2016:

These are the 10 American sailors who were captured by Iran after being accused of snooping when their boats drifted into Iranian waters – but they have now been freed.

The country’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed in a statement on state television that they had been released just a day after they were detained.

The Pentagon lost contact with two small riverine vessels in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday afternoon when they were seized by the Islamic republic’s coast guard, just hours before President Obama made his last State of the Union address.

Wearing combat fatigues and no shoes, the sailors were pictured sitting on a carpet inside a bare room. A female sailor can be seen wearing a makeshift veil she was given by the captors to cover her head.

Iranian intelligence agents are believed to have interrogated the unit for hours following the standoff that unfolded just days before the controversial nuclear agreement is set to go into force.

Republican presidential candidates were quick to jump on what happened, with frontrunner Donald Trump saying it’s ‘an indication of where the hell we’re going’.

The sailors were under detention by Iran after they were taken to a base on the island of Farsi – an area shut off to the public because of the Iranian government’s clandestine activities.

The nine men and one woman are seen without shoes sitting down in a room looking bored with some of them appearing to be asleep.

The group were captured after one of the boats reportedly suffered mechanical issues and drifted into Iranian waters.

But their release came after Iranian state media said the U.S. apologized for unintentionally drifting into occupied territory.

‘Our technical investigations showed the two U.S. Navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters inadvertently,’ the IRGC said in a statement carried by state television. ‘They were released in international waters after they apologised,’ it added.

The Navy have said they will be investigating what happened in a bid to determine why they were in that area of the Persian Gulf.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has welcomed the sailors’ release.

In a statement Wednesday, he thanked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for his ‘diplomatic engagement’ on the issue.

Carter also said: ‘Around the world, the U.S. Navy routinely provides assistance to foreign sailors in distress, and we appreciate the timely way in which this situation was resolved.’

Earlier, Iranian General Ali Fadavi said the American boats had shown ‘unprofessional acts’ for 40 minutes before being picked up by forces in the country’s territorial waters.

He said: ‘US naval force and their frigate showed an unprofessional behavior and had air and naval moves for 40 minutes in the area.

‘Certainly US presence in Persian Gulf and their passage has never been innocent and we do not deem their passage as innocent.’

Fadavi said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif ‘had a firm stance’ during a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ‘on their presence in our territorial waters and said they should not have come and should apologize.’

There had been fears that the situation may escalate after Fars news, Iran’s state media, accused the sailors of ‘snooping’.

Revolutionary Guards Navy confiscated GPS equipment, according to Fars, which would ‘prove that the American ships were ‘snooping’ around in Iranian waters.’

On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook confirmed the boats were moving near Iranian waters when the US lost contact with them.

Cook says: ‘We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly.’

The 10 American sailors were on a training mission at the time, according to NBC News.

They then moved into territorial waters inadvertently before they were captured. The Truman Carrier Strike Group, which is in the vicinity, launched a search and rescue effort, according to the Navy Times.

Secretary of State John Kerry had reportedly been calling his Iranian counterparts to sort out the stand-off.

He has forged a personal relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif through three years of nuclear negotiations.

Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an NBC News military analyst, said the seizure of American boats is ‘very bad news’ and highlights how the Navy may have failed to have surveillance on their boats.

He told MSNBC: ‘We simply can’t allow ground, air or naval units to be seized by a foreign hostile power.

‘I hope they’re back real quickly. This is an affront to our military presence in the Gulf and will unsettle our allies in the region.’

Republican presidential candidates were quick to pile in, blaming President Barack Obama ahead of last night’s State of the Union address.

Trump, who accuses President Barack Obama of being weak on foreign policy, described the incident as ‘an indication of where the hell we’re going’.

Ben Carson was first to point out the unfortunate timing, saying on Twitter: ‘While Potus is preparing to talk about his so called ‘accomplishments, 10 of our American sailors are being held by Iran.

Jeb Bush followed suit, saying: ‘If our sailors aren’t coming home yet, they need to be now. No more bargaining. Obama’s humiliatingly weak Iran policy is exposed again.

Marco Rubio added: ‘Iran needs to release them and the boats immediately… Iran is testing the boundaries of our resolve.’

Iran’s armed forces chief, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, said the incident should demonstrate Iranian strength to ‘troublemakers’ in the U.S. Congress, which has sought to put pressure on Iran after the nuclear deal.

Attributing the boats’ incursion into Iranian waters to a navigation error marked a de-escalation in rhetoric.

Earlier, the Guards had said the boats were ‘snooping’ in Iranian territory and said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had demanded an apology from Washington.

The IRGC, the Islamic Republic’s praetorian guard, is highly suspicious of U.S. military activity near Iran’s borders and many senior officers suspect Washington of pursuing regime change in Tehran.

The Guards operate land and naval units separate to the regular armed forces and stage frequent wargames in the Gulf, which separates Iran from its regional rival Saudi Arabia and a U.S. naval base in Bahrain….

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  • Just Opinions

    Humiliating.

    • John Giametti

      Hussein Obama attacks USA 2008 and invites attacks from muzzies et al. Humiliating.
      Russia in Syria is Husseins fault.Russia has had interests in Syria for many years.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The US is humiliated by have obama as President.

      Obama, without a doubt, the WORST US PRESIDENT E-V-E-R.

      • Platopus

        certainly the worst president in my life and Ive seen plenty.

  • Cuba

    Russian attacks…. Syria 2016……. Horror……

    https://youtu.be/RNDziG4_tu4?list=PLx3rka76NWipRUaE65fE66411U6XxKCIr

    • joker

      He is an expert in shouting allahosnackbar. Glad I had not my picknick on that spot.

  • wilypagan

    It sickens me to see the personal rights of a female US citizen and service member violated while Obama does nothing. This insult calls for the bombing of Basin headquarters, not the release of billions to our enemies. The enemy is in the White House.

  • Bob Smetters

    We should have bombed them and sent in troops to get our men yesterday. Instead this limp wrist pulls downs his pants , backs up and asks if we can please have our men back when it is convenient.. Ann Coulter was right. Kerry is a f^g.

  • Lawman45

    So our Billion dollar Carrier can do nothing but send aircrsft to take Brownie photos. First Obama lets the Iranians get a bomb then he is too scared to protect our forces. A fool and coward.

    • Chris Gerber

      I have said elsewhere that maybe one of our nuclear armed bombers circling overhead Tehran might persuade them to release our soldiers (sailors). But, I see that they have already done that. And, that is somewhat smart on their part. They actually should never have kidnapped them.

  • Mahou Shoujo

    Another example of the democrats amateurish attempts at international diplomacy. It is more than obvious the America is submitting to islamic demands constantly. It is not joke, the black flag of isis wi be publicly flown in the United States, with government permission, soon. And… americans will bow to it. The white mosque will make its move.

    • Honeygirl49

      There are too many armed American patriot civilians to EVER simply bow the knee to ANY muSlime, including the one occupying our White House.

      • Mahou Shoujo

        You have no idea how much I hope you are right.

      • Rob Porter

        Well, Obama’s doing all manner of things that endanger and humiliate the U.S. and I don’t see anyone doing a darned thing about removing him from office. I don’t see armed Americans stopping Muslims from blocking streets in New York to pray – or the police doing anything about it. In his SOTU speech Obama condemned Trump – but not in name – for ‘insulting Muslims’, but this utter fraud president did not similarly condemn Muslims for constantly ‘insulting non-Muslims’. Worse still this jackass president did not condemn Muslims for their mass murders or for trashing churches. No, it’s just the insulting of Muslims that is “not helpful” and “diminishes us in the eyes of the world”. Who actually swallow such drivel? Well, many Americans did. The half-baked commander-in-chief has diminished America by being it’s president. Some actually cheered the is utter nonsense. Talk about stupid!

        And now because South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley echoed Obama’s criticism of Trump, suddenly Haley is to CNN and others on the left “a rising star”. She’s a “rising star” only because she said thing the left likes, but unfortunately she revealed an appalling ignorance of Islam and Muslims, and needs some serious education in this regard. Eloquently delivered, her speech was just too reminiscent of a high school speech delivery contest. The more the left criticizes Donald Trump the more we know they regard him a threat to their ambitions for a weak disgrace like Hillary Clinton in the WH. And the more they elevate Nikki Haley the more we know they view her as more of their kind – which is a good reason to write off Haley as a Republican candidate.

    • JSebastian

      Anyone flying the ISIS flag will be shot on sight as an enemy combatant…any civilian has the right to do that, btw. Just the same as you’d have had the right to shoot a Nazi stormtrooper if one had materialized in the US during WWII. No different. Lots of us run around with kit ready to go in the event something goes down – seeing a terrorist with an ISIS flag qualifies as something going down.

      • Mahou Shoujo

        You will definitely be put to the test, islam is not going to back down, even if they lose the white mosque.

  • Honeygirl49

    Is that the female sailor back in the corner, or was she held separately, and possibly abused? The person in the corner looks like they’ve got their head covered, and if our female sailor, was she forced to do so?

  • Dupper bob

    It is just US foreign miltary aid. Iran needed the boats.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Maybe…. The US boats are loaded with tracking devices – when the Iranian pigs take the boats back to their den, the location is being tracked. Secondary antennas would be snapped off, but covert antennas would be functioning.

      This can be a great intelligence opportunity – of the boat can self destruct on command.

      I’m just dreaming of course.

  • johnnydogood2525

    Kerry will kiss the ayatollahs ass to secure their release, not to worry.

  • Vicki S

    what, what, what!!! iran and obama are best buds, I thought!!!

  • Kook of the East

    I notice that the subhumans put the slave clothes (hijab) on our female soldier.
    One day we will be strong again and can exact our revenge from these muslim scum.
    Ever since Carter, these ragheads have been a problem. Time for a solution where we come out on top.

  • Drew the Infidel

    Engine trouble explains this situation about as convincingly as a video did Benghazi.

  • minny-me

    Does this do your heart good dems? You make me sick!