The facts we know are few. Two riverine patrol boats, part of the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, were traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain (a distance of roughly 200 miles) and were supposed to meet a refueling boat along the way. One boat experienced engine trouble but was still able to proceed at lower than usual speed. When they came somewhere near Iran’s Farsi Island they were confronted by an Iranian force and surrendered.
The ten sailors aboard, nine men and one woman, were photographed surrendering, kneeling with their hands on the backs of their heads and later in a room clustered together. The woman was apparently required by the Iranians to wear some sort of Muslim headscarf while in captivity, as the photos show. They were released on Wednesday, the boats leaving under their own power.
While in Iranian captivity, the sailors were photographed and a propaganda video was made. In the video, Navy Lt. David Nartker said, “It was a mistake. That was our fault. We apologize for our mistake.” He also reportedly thanked the Iranians for their hospitality.
We know about the propaganda video, and the photos, because they were eagerly distributed by the Iranians to show how easily they were able to capture and humiliate the Americans. It could easily have been another 1979 hostage crisis but for one thing. No, not the expert diplomacy by Obama and Kerry. The fact that under Obama’s horrendous nuclear weapons deal with Iran, the Iranians were to get over $100 billion in funds released to them later last week, and they did. The money would have been at risk as long as the sailors were held.