New video footage shows Iran’s capture of 10 U.S. Navy sailors before the crew’s detainment on Farsi Island. The soldiers were released on Wednesday morning (hours after the expected daybreak release), and the circumstances regarding the capture are still murky. The sailors piloted two small vessels, one of which may have drifted into Iranian waters. Evidence points toward either a mechanical, navigational or refueling issue. Initial reports said Iran suspected “snooping” was afoot, but the Iran state news agency reported that the soldiers were “rescued.”
In this clip, the sailors are shown on their knees after the interception. Iran took the sailors to a detainment room where their passports, equipment and firearms were inspected. They also received Persian food and drink, which was (presumably) shown to assure the U.S. that the soldiers were treated well during their time in custody.
This clip shows more of the inspection process aboard the U.S. vessels.
Various reports claim Iran demanded an apology from the sailors and the U.S., but John Kerry’s spokesperson says the U.S. never issued an apology. Kerry did thank Iran for their cooperation in releasing the soldiers:
“I’m appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the Iranian authorities. I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago. In fact, it is clear that today this kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved and efficiently resolved and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong.”
Likewise, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif paid lip service to the swift resolution of this matter:
Kerry’s words refer to the nuclear deal reached last year, which goes into effect in a few days. The Secretary of State credits the newfound diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran with this situation’s speedy resolution.
However, there still the matter of this video footage. The clip, which aired on Iran state tv, may violate the Geneva Convention’s requirement to insulate prisoners “against insults and public curiosity.” This provision was tested in 2007 when Iran broadcasted similar images of detained U.K. sailors.