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    This frame grab from Tuesday, January 12, 2016 video by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency, shows detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran

    Why Pentagon Wants to Punish Sailors After Iran Seizes US Vessel

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    Washington's position on the incident involving the detention of two US Navy vessels in Iranian territorial waters has proved to be quite controversial. In an interview with Sputnik, Iranian expert Fouad Izadi shared his views on the US reaction to the incident.

    On Wednesday, the US announced it would punish nine sailors who were involved in the incident on January 12, when two US patrol boats were detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Persian Gulf.

    According to Pentagon officials, “the crew’s actions did not meet the expectations.”

    However, according to the results of the investigation, eight crew members will face a disciplinary hearing. The ninth member, the captain, was dismissed shortly after the incident hence there will be no hearing for him.

    Iranian expert and member of the Scientific Council at the Department of Research at Tehran University, Fouad Izadi, spoke with Sputnik in an interview about the incident and how the US reaction to the incident was fairly predictable.

    “Firstly, when in January this incident took place, anti-Iranian rhetoric by many US officials only intensified. They presented this in such a twisted way, saying that supposedly American sailors went off course and accidentally entered the territorial waters of Iran and the Islamic Republic immediately arrested them,” Izadi said.

    “Some members of the Congress even went as far as saying that if within a few hours the sailors are not released, the United States reserves the right to save its citizens by resorting to military action against Iran,” he added.

    In general, the American side demonstrated an extremely aggressive reaction. Now that the situation has changed over time, it shows what actually happened in January and demonstrates that Iran is not to be blamed, as it was reacting within the framework of international law, according to the expert.

    “The perpetrators of this incident are the American sailors themselves, for that they must be punished,” Izadi said.

    The second point that should be noted is that the United States wants to exercise the utmost strictness on the US sailors. Talking about the reason behind this decision, the expert said, “When the incident occurred, senior Iranian military officers stated that the US sailors were very upset by what had happened, they cried and repented admitting that they made a mistake.”

    Naturally, this fact puts the US in a spotlight because, “the United States likes to talk about its power and might and the knowledge of US soldiers crying and acting cowardly” doesn’t correspond well with the US’ image.

    “Therefore, it is understandable that the US Navy decided to punish the nine sailors. This punishment is for showing weakness in the moment of being in custody; it can be regarded as a message to the entire US military,” Iazdi said.

    Talking about how the US would have treated the Iranian sailors if they “accidentally” sailed close to the US borders, the analyst said that the US reaction would have been extremely severe and aggressive.

    “In general it can be concluded that the United States, whether it's building relationships or resolving conflicts with any state, always uses double standards. They always show aggression, rigidity, while demanding the opposite side to show condescension and kindness,” the expert said.

    He further said that even if a country shows restraint and neutrality the US still continuous to apply pressure. In any case, this incident should be a good lesson for the United States and a reason to do some serious thinking,” the expert concluded.

    The two US Navy vessels sailing from Kuwait to Bahrain were detained on January 18 by Iran for unlawfully sailing into Iranian territorial waters. Among the ten arrested crew members there were nine men and one woman.

    Iran released a recording in which the US sailors are seen on their knees with their hands behind their heads, some of them were crying.

    The sailors were released after 15 hours of detention. The incident created a diplomatic row between the two countries, nearly extinguishing the US-Iran nuclear deal at the final moment.

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    Tags:
    territorial waters, military action, diplomatic row, interview, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, US Navy, United States
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