Iran Dictator: Seizure of American Sailors ‘Act of God’

US Sailors Arrested Iranian State News

Ayatollah Khamenei, the self-declared Supreme Leader of Iran, praised his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for its arrest and detention of U.S. sailors for allegedly entering Iran’s waters.

Khamenei said Sunday that his IRGC–which is tasked with exporting the Islamic revolution worldwide–committed a “brave” act in detaining the American service members.

The capture of U.S. sailors (nine men and one woman) “was in fact an act of God, who brought the Americans into our waters so they would be arrested with their hands on their heads through your timely measure,” said Iran’s dictator, according to Tehran state-run media.

The Ayatollah then led prayers for the devoutly religious Shiite militant group, according to his website.

Khamenei’s Twitter account posted photos from the meeting with IRGC forces. His social media page highlighted how the arrest of the sailors was “God’s Deed” in favor of his Islamic Republic.

On January 12, on the eve of President Obama’s State of the Union address, the IRGC announced it had arrested the ten U.S. Marines and confiscated their riverine boats.

While in custody, the Iranians took photos and videos of the sailors, in violation of several articles of the Geneva Conventions. Iran’s state-television showcased footage of the U.S. sailors apologizing for their actions and having forced the female sailor to wear proper Islamic garb, providing a propaganda victory for the Ayatollah’s theocratic regime.

Their capture was celebrated in many Iranian newspapers. One headline read, “US thanks Iran [for swiftly freeing American marines].” Another paper featured, “US tests, IRGC browbeats” as the lead story.

Iran would eventually release the sailors after holding them overnight, though the IRGC Navy did confiscate GPS equipment from the boats.

Separately, on Saturday, the Ayatollah met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. During their meeting, he declared that Iran has “never trusted the West.”

He thanked China for helping Iran rid itself of international sanctions and for advocating for Tehran in formulating the Iran nuclear deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

During Xi’s visit, the two sides inked a $600 billion dollar trade deal, said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.


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