Ten US navy sailors were detained by Iran this week after one of their boats suffered mechanical issues and strayed into Iranian waters. The incident had the potential to increase tensions between the two nations and damage the historic nuclear deal, which is expected to be formally implemented within days, according to Reuters.
The sailors were quickly released, however Iranian state media released a video of them being detained and apologizing for entering its waters. The footage shows the sailors at one point on their knees with their hands on their heads. One unidentified sailor says, “It was a mistake. That was our fault, and we apologise for our mistake.”
Of course this sparked fury from many who believed that Iran was taking advantage of Obama’s alleged weakness in dealing with them. While the quick release was lauded as a sign that relations have drastically improved over the past year, there were still those who took advantage of the situation to criticize the president.
Here are some of the varying reactions to the incident.
Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry noted that the release was a sign of warmer relations between Iran and the US. On Wednesday, he said that “we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.”
He played a key role in negotiating the release with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Donald Trump was not happy.
Iran humiliated the United States with the capture of our 10 sailors. Horrible pictures & images. We are weak. I will NOT forget!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2016
Ted Cruz took the opportunity to slam Obama’s foreign policy, telling conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that, “the fact that Iran feels emboldened enough to capture two U.S. Navy ships and to take 10 sailors into custody is really a demonstration of the unbelievable weakness of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy.”
Presidential candidate Jeb Bush claimed that Obama’s Iran policy was “humiliatingly weak.”
If our sailors aren’t coming home yet, they need to be now. No more bargaining. Obama’s humiliatingly weak Iran policy is exposed again.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 12, 2016
Those who kept them in check
There were, of course, those who highlighted that the sailors were released so quickly, and accused the Republicans of trying to make a bigger issue out of the incident.
It is breath taking to see how the republicans are ringing their hands in hopes of a problem with Iran over 10 US sailors. #Disgraceful— Mr. Scooter 3120 (@chp3120) January 13, 2016
Republicans are cheering the fact that 10 sailors are in custody so they can beat PBO over the head with it. Such "patriotic Americans"— Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) January 12, 2016
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