Editor’s Note: It is being reported today that Iran has released the boats and sailors captured. According to NYT:
The Pentagon and the State Department said that one of the boats had experienced mechanical problems en route to Bahrain from Kuwait on a routine mission on Tuesday, and the Iranians appeared to have accepted that explanation.
Whatever the explanation, WWIII can’t kick off without Iran…
Obama bragged of his ‘legacy’ nuclear deal with Iran in his final State of the Union speech tonight yet said nothing about Iran seizing 10 crew members and two U.S. Navy riverine patrol boats. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrested the 10 crew members, nine men and one woman in the Persian Gulf earlier today.
“Senior members of Barack Obama’s administration are apologizing for Iran seizing two U.S. Navy vessels and holding 10 sailors hostage,” the Arkansas Republican told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.”
According to CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry was able to call Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about the incident. Kerry said he “expected the sailors to be released ‘very soon’ but would not be more specific. He was speaking at the Capitol ahead of the start of Obama’s speech.” Kerry’s words did not reassure former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers who criticized Kerry:
“The secretary of state should not say, ‘It’s gonna be soon, real soon,’” Rogers said on CNN. “We need to have the secretary of state engaged in this issue right now. In fact, I’m not sure I would have him at this speech.”
Roger also dismissed the idea, put out by the administration, that the transfer of the sailors could not happen at night because it would be too dangerous.
“This notion that it happens at night and can’t be done safely is absolute hooey, absolute hooey,” Rogers said. “This should be done, it should be done immediately, and I think every level of our government should be applied to this, including our secretary of state.”
While the White House and Pentagon are busy downplaying the events, The Telegraph reported: “Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency used far more provocative language in describing the incident…accusing the US Navy ships of of “snooping” in Iranian waters”:
“The Revolutionary Guards naval forces seized the American boats two kilometres inside Iranian territorial waters while they were snooping around,” it said, adding that GPS equipment would prove the Americans had been spying.
The US Navy ships were yesterday detained by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the powerful Iranian military body known for its hardline stance and opposition to rapprochement with the US, sparking concerns that the detentions may have been a political maneuver.
Farsi Island, on which US sailors were said to be being held, sits in the Persian Gulf in between Iranand Saudi Arabia, and is fortified by the IRGC.”
While officials are saying the sailors will be transferred to the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group in international waters during daylight hours, there has been no mention on whether the two patrol boats will also be returned.
Just two weeks ago, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards conducted live-fire exercises near the Strait of Hormuz. It gave nearby US vessels exactly 23 seconds of warning. One rocket was launched 1,500 yards from the USS Harry S Truman.
Obama’s response? None.
And you were expecting?
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Contributed by Valerie Love of Watchmen News.