00:08 GMT +3 hours28 July 2016
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This picture released by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, shows detained American Navy sailors in an undisclosed location in Iran. Less than a day after 10 U.S. Navy sailors were detained in Iran when their boats drifted into Iranian waters, they and their vessels were back safely Wednesday with the American fleet

Senator John McCain Outraged Over US Navy Crew Detention by Iran

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In what could have spiraled into a diplomatic nightmare, US sailors captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Tuesday were returned peacefully. While most are applauding diplomats on both sides, one US senator is stoking the fires, maintaining that the US Navy was within its full rights to enter Iranian waters.

On Tuesday, two small US Navy patrol boats lost contact with their command and drifted into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. Running aground on Farsi Island, the 10 crew members onboard the two boats were taken into custody by the Revolutionary Guard, and their boats were seized.

Many expressed concern that the incident could become a protracted diplomatic battle, but all crewmembers and equipment were released the following day after discussions between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

While the incident’s quick resolution is undeniably good news, US Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, believes the American sailors should not have been taken into custody in the first place.

"The Administration is pretending as if nothing out of the ordinary has occurred. Vice President Joe Biden described the incident as 'standard nautical practice.' That assertion is patently false," McCain said in a statement.

"What’s worse, by failing to affirm basic principles of international law, it places our Navy and Coast Guard vessels and the men and women who sail them at increased risk in the future."

Democrats have argued that the swift return of the sailors was the direct result of the improved relations between Washington and Tehran after the summer nuclear deal negotiations. McCain refuted the claims.

"Furthermore, the suggestion by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others that the Iranian nuclear deal somehow aided in these sailors’ return is ludicrous," he said, according to Breaking Defense, a military commentary website.

"These sailors were ‘arrested’ in apparent violation of international law and centuries of maritime custom and tradition."

Republicans have insinuated that the Americans were mistreated while in Iranian custody, though video released by Tehran shows the sailors being treated to a full meal and comfortable accommodation.

"All indications suggest that our sailors were well taken care of, provided with blankets and food and assisted with their return to the fleet," Secretary Kerry told reporters on Wednesday.

Circumstances surrounding how the Navy boats entered Iranian waters continue to unfold. US officials initially said a mechanical problem caused one of the vessels to drift toward Farsi Island, but that theory was proven false after the boats were driven back to Bahrain on Wednesday morning.

In an interview with Jorge Ramos on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the Pentagon now believes a navigational error was at fault.

"[The sailors] obviously had mis-navigated. That’s what they report. That’s how they believe they ended up in this circumstance," he said.

After releasing the sailors, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard posted an online statement reading, "After determining that their entry into Iran’s territorial waters was not intentional and their apology, the detained American sailors were released in international waters."

Related:
Iran on Final Stage of Fulfilling Nuclear Program Agreement
Rumors of Kerry Offering Apology to Iran Over US Boats Contain ‘Zero Truth’
US Should Not Apologize for Boats Crossing Into Iran's Waters - Biden
Tags:
Iranian Revolutionary Guards, US Navy, Ashton Carter, Mohammad Javad Zarif, John Kerry, John McCain, Farsi Island, Iran, United States, Persian Gulf
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  • tony p
    I assume these sailors didn't spill their guts and tell Iran every military secret they know like McCain did when in Vietnam. He wasn't known as Song Bird for nothing.
  • kooka
    I guess this moron made his senseless comments to prevent the public from asking why that strange navigation error happened.
  • armor
    McCain should have said this :
    " To the Iranian Authorities, thank you for having well-treated the 10 men (or 9+1 woman who, by the way should not have been on that boat, to start with: not her place), thank you for being hospitable , by giving them food and drinking water, thank you for not having taken them prisoners inland, far away, from our special forces' reach, thank you for presenting me the opportunity to see that you are not quite what we pictured you for 30 years, that the two boats were in your waters, and I frankly do not know why the other one did not tow the broken down one out to sea, thank you Iran, with humility, I pledge myself to understand you a little better, I will try to become less bellicose, I will try to work for peace, and I will put my Trust in God Almighty. Please accept my apologies for my past mistakes and I will try and do some penance now".
  • Zhukov
    McCain is low level clown actor.
  • marcanhalt
    "Hey, John, these kids knew they weren't just playing 'hooky' and going fishing. They were taking orders to go snooping in someone else's backyard, thinking that there was not much bite in the dog in that yard. And, John, if you need something else to do, go visit Walter Reed today and get an EKG. And, no, I do not mean an 'extra kill goal' since you seem mean enough to want to bite someone."
  • Dirk Ramsey
    Dear Senator McCain. I am also outraged. I am outraged that the people of Arizona keep electing you. The only reason that I feel that they keep electing you, is that they have been standing in the sun to long.
  • vvj3080
    As long as Mc Cain is alive there will war.
  • johancruyff74 .
    This filthy fascist Yank is known as "McQaeda" all over the planet for a reason.
  • I am sure McCain would expect the US Navy to treat Iranian sailors, should they accidentally cross into US waters with the same courtesy - eh?
  • Mark Gewissin reply totony p(Show commentHide comment)
    tony p, Son of an admiral, he also received some preferential treatment... like having a Soviet doctor flown in to set his broken arm.
  • Mark Gewissin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
    armor, Fantastic... a communique from a sane and ideal world!
  • Mark Gewissin reply tojohancruyff74 .(Show commentHide comment)
    johancruyff74 ., LOL The McQaeda sounds like a new TexMex menu item at McDonalds..
  • chrrev
    the viets should have fed him to the pigs back then in Hanoi.
  • Sam Handwich
    If only I would get a dollar every time Mc Cain is outraged I would be rich by now.
  • Mark Gewiss
    WOW!.... just, WOW! What a Hate-fest. I had no idea this clown had so many critics.

    I've been on this site for just over a month and didn't know McCain was rubbing super, world-class villain shoulders with the likes of Erdogan and Obama.
  • dewatergeus
    Psychopath McCain is planning to do only one thing before he is going to count the daisies: destroy the parts of the planet to show everybody HIS godgiven right to do what he likes to do with mankind and the world. What an arrogant a*** he is.

    The voters in Arizona should finally starting to use their brains before the next senate election.

    No chance, John McCain, we do not know exactly what you did or not did in North Vietnam when you were captured while destroying the livelyhood and lifes of many vietnamese people, that you are sitting in that Washington chair now while others of the USA flying naval branch at that time will never ever sit at home again.

    Uncle Ho Tsi Minh should never have let you go back to the USA as the globe should have had less chaos and wars as it has now.

    Concerning the sailors of the two boats.
    There are no bad USA-sailors and no bad USA-marine soldiers, only bad US-Navy- and US-Marine-soldier Managers and their bad political bosses.

    Forget finishing off Iran together with your friend Natanyahoo.
    The iranian people are too clever for US.
  • Ann in reply toBob Hoferer(Show commentHide comment)
    Bob Hoferer, You know, I feel repentant about it, I really do, but I've never actually hoped for someone to have a stroke or something else to shut him up, as I have for mclame. THAT SOB NEEDS TO SHUT UP.
  • Ann in reply tojuglul2001(Show commentHide comment)
    juglul2001, Yes.
  • Ann in reply to (Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, "Can you believe that!" Well, if The Terminator can be a governor, and a monkey can be president, why can't mclame be a senator?
  • Bob Hofererin reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
    sixpack6t9, Again, I agree w/you 100%. McPain is a DISGRACE to his service & his country...but MOSTLY to fellow soldiers.
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