Mr. Speaker, it was a routine exercise, sailing from Kuwait to Bahrain through the Persian Gulf, until, allegedly, the navigation system failed on one of the two U.S. gunboats. Mysteriously, the boats lost communication.
Next, 10 American sailors surrendered and were captured by Iran. They were led off the boat at gunpoint and held hostage. Iran, unsurprisingly, violated Article 13 of the Geneva Convention by failing to protect our sailors from ‘‘insults and public curiosity.’’
Here is a poster of our sailors surrendering to the small boat of Iranians. The bottom photograph apparently shows arms taken off the two American boats. I assume the Iranians kept those.
Iran’s Supreme Leader has awarded victory medals to its navy commanders for capturing the Americans. International law states that anyone can have innocent passage through a state’s territorial waters, as long as it is nonthreatening, continuous, and expeditious.
Iran claimed the Americans were sent to spy. These claims turned out to be delusional. Iran acted without consequences, and the U.S. did not act at all. Many questions remain. Where was the effective air cover for the Navy? Why did the sailors ‘‘give up the ship’’? Who gave the order to surrender?
The Navy needs to let the American public know how two American boats were confiscated by the Iranians and why it happened. And that is just the way it is.