Kerry voices anger over sailors footage released by Iran

US Secretary of State John Kerry is ‘frustrated’ over release of video showing US sailors apologising to Iran for violating its territorial waters

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to journalists about his negotiations with Iran upon his arrival from Vienna at Joint Base Andrews in Washington, January 17, 2016

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that he was "very, very frustrated" over the release of the footage of the sailors being detained by Iranian forces last week. 

After being held by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, 10 US sailors appeared in a video released by the Iranian military their hands behind their heads. 

Iranian state run TV also showed sailors apologising for violating Iranian territorial waters. 

"I was very angry. I was very, very frustrated and angry that that was released," Kerry told a US media outlet.

"I raised it immediately with the Iranians. It was not put out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the government directly, it was put out I think by the military over there who is opposed to what we are doing." 

The incident came ahead of the implementation day of the nuclear deal with Tehran causing an inflammatory debate in Washington orchestrated by Republicans who are fervently against the nuclear deal inked last July. 

The sailors were released 15 hours after Kerry’s phone call to his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif. 

The US Central Command released its initial report of the event Monday. 

According to the report the sailors were tasked with the mission of relocating the two boats from Kuwait to Bahrain, "with a planned refueling en route alongside the US Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy." 

The planned transit path for the mission was reportedly down the middle of the Gulf and not through the territorial waters of any country other than Kuwait and Bahrain. 

"The command investigation will determine what caused the change in course and why the RCBs [Riverine Command Boats] entered into Iranian territorial waters in the vicinity of Farsi Island," the report said. 

It noted that one of the boats had indications of “a mechanical issue in a diesel engine." The stop occurred in Iranian waters according to the report. 

The initial report indicates there was "a verbal exchange between the sailors and the Iranians, but no exchange of gunfire."

It also said that "a post-recovery inventory of the boats found that all weapons, ammunition and communication gear are accounted," but for "two SIM cards that appear to have been removed from two handheld satellite phones."

TRTWorld, AA