Paul has offered thoughts on the release of the U.S. sailors, all of which I agree with. I want to add a few further observations.
The day began with Joe Biden touting the president’s State of the Union speech on CBS. Near the end of his interview, he was asked about the seizure of American sailors by the Iranians (the sailors by then had been released) and specifically, whether there had been any apology by the U.S. He indignantly denied this suggestion:
Biden: The Iranians picked up both boats, as we have picked up Iranian boats that needed to be rescued….They released them, like ordinary nations would do. That’s the way nations should deal with one another. That’s why it’s important to have channels open.
Interviewer: Did we apologize to the Iranians?
Biden: No, there was no apology, there was nothing to apologize for. When you have a problem with the boat, do you apologize that the boat had a problem? And there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice.
Here he is:
Then there was Secretary of State John Kerry, one of the great blowhards of world history, who praised the Iranians effusively, either unaware that Iran’s treatment of the captive sailors had violated international law, or indifferent to that fact.
Kerry: … I also want to thank the Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response. … I’m appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the Iranian authorities. All indications suggest, tell us, that our sailors were well taken care of, provided with blankets and food [Ed.: and a headscarf] and assisted with their return to the fleet earlier today.
And I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago. In fact, it is clear that today, this kind of issue is able to be peacefully resolved, and officially resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping out country safe, secure and strong.
In other words: we owe this humiliation to the Iran nuclear deal! Here is Kerry:
Of course, Biden and Kerry were both wrong. There was an apology, and Iran didn’t respond “appropriately,” but rather violated international law by forcing one of the sailors to “confess,” by filming the servicemen and woman in humiliating positions, and by forcing the lone woman in the crew to comply with Sharia law.
Here is the apology that the Iranians filmed and broadcast to the world, trumpeting their victory over the pathetic, weak United States of America:
Iran’s government-controlled press viewed the incident in quite a different light from the Biden/Kerry “nothing to see here” evasion. FARS News was triumphant:
In its statement, the [Islamic Revolution Guards Corps] pointed out that its investigations show that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Iranian waters was not the result of a purposeful act.
“Following technical and operational investigations and in interaction with relevant political and national security bodies of the country and after it became clear that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s waters was the result of an unintentional action and a mistake and after they extended an apology, the decision was made to release them,” the statement said.
“The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes,” it added, and continued, “The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy moments ago.”
Following the capture, two US and French aircraft carriers as well as their accompanying fleets and military choppers started maneuvering near Iranian waters.
The IRGC statement blamed the US flotilla for its “excited and unprofessional moves”, but said the IRGC navy could handle the situation and restored calm to the region through powerful and wise moves.
Senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were in contact with their Iranian counterparts on the fate of the marines since Tuesday, and according to Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had told Kerry that the US should extend a formal apology first.
According to the statement, the Americans have extended an apology.
It is sad: throughout the nuclear negotiations, Iran’s government gave a more truthful account of what was going on than the Obama administration. That appears to be the case with regard to the seizure of American sailors, as well.
UPDATE: The Daily Mail is no one’s idea of an intellectual web site, but they know humiliation when they see it. Click to enlarge: