Iran Releases Humiliating Photos of Captured U.S. Sailors On Their Knees
Controversy is exploding over the release of photos and videos showing the arrests of 10 U.S. sailors by the Iranian military.
The images show the American Navy members being forced to kneel, with their hands on their heads. Iranian authorities are also seen inspecting the Navy vessels and examining their weapons.
The pictures were broadcast on Iranian media and the video shows one sailor apologizing for drifting into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. The two Navy boats experienced mechanical problems and accidentally entered the country's territorial waters, U.S. officials said.
"It was a mistake. It was our fault. We apologize," the sailor says. One of the detainees, a woman, was forced to wear a scarf to cover her hair, in accordance with Muslim custom.
The sailors were released Wednesday after spending a day in detention. Their arrests created a firestorm of media attention and intensive diplomatic wrangling as President Barack Obama gave his last State of the Union address Tuesday night.
At a campaign stop in South Carolina, GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio said he was disgusted by the images and said they exposed another reason to cancel America's nuclear agreement with Iran.
"By the way, I don’t know if you saw these images—they are really horrifying, and it really made me really angry this morning to see," the Florida senator said.
"American sailors, on their knees, hands behind their head, a female sailor forced to wear a headscarf, penned up in a jail cell. You know why these things happen?" he asked. "Because they know they can get away with it with Barack Obama in office. They know they can humiliate us. Now, look, this is not what you do."
Earlier Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said there was no need to apologize for the international incident.
"When you have a problem with the boat you apologize the boat had a problem? No, and there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice," he said.