Thursday at the Defense Department briefing, while discussing the Jan. 12 incident in which Iran arrested 10 American sailors at gunpoint and showed them on Iranian TV, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the way the Iranians handled the sailors was “not OK,” adding no American would ever treat another country’s military with that level of disrespect.
Carter said “I was very, very angry at it. I’m not going give you the international law answer, but I can tell you Americans wouldn’t have done that. I said that before — that for me as secretary of defense, I think it’s probably true of everybody in the department, to see our guys in that situation on Iranian TV, that’s really not OK. And we — again, we would not have done that. And I asked everybody at the time, and I hope everybody keeps that in mind as you think about that— remember as you’re thinking about our guys that you’re looking through the lens of the Iranians. so, they are being debriefed and explaining the circumstances and so forth. Our first interest for their guys was their own health and welfare. The Navy has been attending to that, and that’s important. but — and this is not the way they should have been treated, and it’s very — for certain not the way Americans would have treated foreign sailors in a comparable circumstance.”
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