US Defense Secretary 'Very, Very Angry' about Treatment of 10 US Sailors in Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday he was "very, very angry" when he saw footage of 10 US Navy sailors detained by Iranian authorities broadcast by Iranian television news.
"To see our guys in that situation on Iranian TV -- that's really not okay," Carter said at a Pentagon news conference, adding that the United States "would not have done that."
Ten Navy sailors were detained earlier this month after two small Navy vessels strayed into Iranian waters. Footage of the sailors' capture and detention -- which included images of the sailors on their knees with their hands on their heads -- was quickly broadcast by the Iranian media outlets.
One of the videos showed a US sailor apologizing for entering Iranian waters, saying, "It was a mistake that was our fault and we apologize for our mistake."
Carter added that he had no reason to believe the sailors had acted inappropriately in the situation, saying they were put into the situation "coercively" when they were filmed, according to the CNN.
When first asked about the incident on January 14, which was prior to the implementation of the nuclear deal, Carter had been very measured, saying he wanted to hear more from the sailors about what had happened.
"Obviously, I don't like to see our people in -- being detained by a foreign military. I'm very glad they're released, I'm very glad they're safe," Carter said then. "What we don't know is the full context."
Secretary of State John Kerry also said earlier this month that he was "very angry" and "very, very frustrated" by the release of the footage.
"I raised it immediately with the Iranians. It was not put out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the government directly," Kerry said.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy on January 12 captured 10 US Navy sailors inside Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, but released them the next day following an apology and after technical and operational investigations indicated that the intrusion into Iranian territorial waters was “unintentional”.