A week after the Iranian military arrested, detained overnight, and later released ten U.S. sailors, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he was “very angry” that the Ayatollah’s militants decided to use the situation for propaganda purposes, in an apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions.
After Iran detained the ten sailors, Iranian television filmed interviews with the U.S. service members, which outraged the United States’ chief diplomat.
“I was very angry. I was very frustrated and angry that that was released. I raised it immediately with the Iranians,” he told CNN. “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, the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard], who is opposed to what we are doing.”
As Breitbart Editor Joel Pollak pointed out last week, Iran appeared to violate Articles 13 and 14 of the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war when it published both photos and videos of the detained sailors. The White House, however, still claims Iran did not violate the particular articles.
“It was very, very unfortunate, inappropriate. And as a former sailor, and member of the military, I was infuriated by it and I expressed that very directly to my counterpart,” Kerry added in an interview with Fox News.
Over the weekend, international bodies cleared Iran for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, as part of the terms agreed upon in the Iran nuclear deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The event coincided with Iran’s release of five Americans from Iranian captivity, though the Administration claims the two events were negotiated separately. In exchange, the U.S. released seven Iranians who were charged with thwarting sanctions against the regime in Tehran, and cleared fourteen Iranians from Interpol’s Red List for extradition.
President Obama claimed over the weekend that the deal will prevent “Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
“This is a good day, because once again we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy,” Obama said in championing the nuclear deal. “Most important of all, we achieved this historic progress through diplomacy, without resorting to another war in the Middle East.”
Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese-American businessman, is still believed to be in Iran’s custody. Another American, Robert Levinson, was taken hostage in Iranian territory in 2007. His whereabouts are largely unknown. The FBI has offered a $5 million dollar reward for information leading to his location.